How does my body work : Body during pregnancy

A pregnant woman goes through a number of physical changes, all of which are geared towards delivering a healthy child without harming the mother. Starting from the day of conception to the day of delivery, pregnancy lasts for 266 days or 38 weeks. This duration can be divided into three periods, each lasting three months and are known as the first, second and third trimesters respectively. Each trimester is accompanied by its own unique set of changes to the body. The earliest symptoms can be very subtle and may not be easily noticeable until weeks. However, some women have also talked about sensing pregnancy within hours of conception.

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What form of contraception to choose after pregnancy ?

Although doctors suggest not having sexual intercourses at least till the postpartum checkup, which is after 4 to 5 weeks of giving birth, it has been estimated that most women will already have resumed intercourses before that. After giving birth, women should allow their body to heal, but even then, it is always safer to have birth control plans well in advance. For women who have had children, there are a number of things like the vaginal width and the hormone levels that should be considered before opting for any particular birth control method. Given below are some of the methods that may be applicable to women with children

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Sexuality during pregnancy

During pregnancy, the body goes through a lot of hormonal changes. This can affect everything from body shape, size, weight and even the mood of the expectant mother. When it comes to the sexual activity that a woman can have during the pregnancy period, it is important to consider the stage of pregnancy, if there is any blood clotting after the intercourse and most importantly, the way she feels about having. To avoid any complications during childbirth, it is best to stick to the doctor’s recommendation or at least wait till she gets thoroughly examined by the doctor.

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The role of father during pregnancy

It may seem like the pregnancy is only a mother’s affair, but the truth is that it can be as equally challenging for the dad as it is for the mother. The physical aspects of the pregnancy are obviously relatable only to the mother, but there is also an emotional aspect to it and it is important for dads to be a part of it. Pregnancy as a whole should be an experience for both the father and the mother. Given below are some of the roles and responsibilities involving dads during the pregnancy period.

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What form of contraception to choose for young women ?

Although there has been a huge decline in the rate of teen pregnancies, statistics show that there are almost 1700 births each week in the age group of 15 to 17 year olds. Therefore it is a long way to go. Efforts should be made in discussing the importance of protected sex and birth control with young girls. They should also have sufficient knowledge about the sexually transmitted diseases and safety measures.

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Living well during pregnancy

When you are pregnant, you go through a lot of emotional and physical changes. There are major hormonal changes going on inside your body and it becomes extremely necessary to sketch out a plan for a healthy child delivery. The very first thing you should do is calculate the approximate time you have till delivery. This will give you an idea about the time you have in hand. You can then accordingly mould your daily exercise and food habits and start bracing up for the final act.

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Medical follow-up of pregnancy

Any couple who is thinking of having a baby should first see a doctor ensure if they are in good health to do so. Although childbirth is a natural process and should be without any complication, certain disorders in the body could get severely alleviated if not checked on time. Then there comes the risk of passing some hereditary disorders from parent to the child. Therefore, before conceiving, the woman should start taking care of her health and building up her immunity so that the pregnancy affects neither her nor the child. It is advisable for women to start taking supplements containing folate well in advance as it reduces the chances of having an abnormal birth. Along with that, the prenatal period should be lined with constant and frequent medical follow-ups.

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The ills of pregnancy

Pregnancy comes with an armload of maladies. From the conception till the delivery, your body goes through a number of hormonal changes. This does not only influence physical changes but also the emotions. It is quite normal for pregnant women to go through moodiness and irritability. The ailments can, however, vary in intensity during different stages of pregnancy. Listed below are some of the most common ailments experienced by pregnant women.

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Contraception – Types and measures to achieve it

Contraception or birth control is a means to prevent pregnancy which works by interfering with the process of ovulation, also called as fertilization or implantation. There are different measures of birth control which can help in achieving contraception. Before taking any preventive measures it is important to understand how the ovulation cycle works.

The Ovulation Cycle

In every month the women’s body release an egg or the ovum which matures, and the mucus is secreted from the cervix which is an organ placed at the lower end of women’s uterus. Further the lining of uterus grows in preparation for receiving a fertilized egg when sperm comes in contact with it. Birth control (contraception) are designed to interfere in the normal process of birth and prevent pregnancy which may occur. There are multiple kinds of birth control measures that can be used at different points during the process, right from ovulation to fertilization till implantation is done. Each method comes with its own consequences and risks. Some of the methods proven to be more reliable are mentioned below.

Oral contraception’s :

They include tablets which is taken by mouth or orally. The birth control pills are the ideal example of Oral contraception’s and must be taken every day. These pills contain estrogen and progestin that are known to suppress ovulation.

Risks:

  • May cause vomiting, severe diarrhea.
  • Not suitable for overweight women.
  • May have side effects like headache and nausea.

 

Cervical cap:

These are the soft rubber cap which are placed around the cervix region, also known as Spermicides. The Cervical cap is obtained by doctor’s prescription. They are inserted just before the intercourse. It may be sometimes difficult to insert. The failure rate is between 17-23%, depending on type of cap.

Risks:

  • You can feel its constant presence and may be irritating at times.
  • Can cause infection if the metal gets corroded from inside.

 

Female Condom:

This is a condom with lubricated sheath material which is to be inserted in the vagina.It has a shape similar to male condom, and comes with a circular flexible ring.
The Female Condom is applied immediately before the intercourse, and is allowed for single use only. The failure rate is 21 %.

Risks:

  • May sometimes get pushed within the vagina.
  • It may split or tear during intercourse.

 

Male Condom:

The Male Condoms are made of Latex or materials like polyurethane sheath and is supposed to be placed over an erect penis before intercourse and is recommended for single use only. They are widely available in any medical drugstores. Condoms give best protection against all kinds of sexually transmitted diseases. But non-latex condoms don’t prevent the spreading of HIV and other STDs.

Risks:

  • It may slip off or break during intercourse if wrong size used.
  • May prove to be allergic to some people.

 

Depo-Provera injections:

It’s a hormonal medication injection that inhibits the ovulation process, this injection is obtained by prescription and it taken in every three months. The failure rate is less than 1 percent.

Risks:

  • May cause irregular periods, weight gain and effects fertility.

 

Diaphragm with spermicide:

Diaphragm are dome-shaped with rubber disk that can cover the cervix. Diaphragm are given only with prescription. Diaphragms are inserted before the intercourse and should be left in place at least for minimum six hours. The failure rate is about 17 percent.

Cons:

  • Use of spermicide is must.
  • Size needs to be changed after baby.

 

Douching:

The feminine douche is used immediately after the intercourse to wash out the accumulated sperm. But Douching has proved to be ineffective as the sperm travel very quickly to cervix. It has a failure rate of 40 percent.

 

IUD:

The intra uterine devices is T-shaped which is inserted in the women’s uterus to avoid pregnancy. IUD’s can be kept in the uterus for the span one, five till 10 years, depending on your need. IUD’s are proved to be safer as they have a failure rate of less than 1 percent. You need to worry about fertility once it’s inserted.

Risks:

  • Heavy menstrual periods or menstrual cramping may occur with the use of IUD.
  • It may cause spotting or irregular bleeding.

 

Tubal sterilization:

Surgical Tubal sterilization is a form of surgery done by tying tubes around the cervix. A doctor must perform the sterilization procedure in a hospital or a surgical clinic. The use of anesthesia is must during the surgery. This sterilization may cause infection and bleeding.

Cons:

  • May cause discomfort.
  • Once opted for you cannot reverse it.
  • Does not protect from STD’s.

Morning-after pill:

Also known as emergency contraceptive pills are similar to the normal birth control pills, with an only difference that it must be consumed within 72 hours or 3 days of having unprotected intercourse. These pills are proven to reduce pregnancy risk up to 80 percent.

 

Spermicide Alone:

Spermicide is a foam kind of creamy film a bit jelly type, suppository or tablet which contains nonoxynol-9.Spermicide is inserted between five to ninety minutes before the intercourse and must be left in place for six to eight hours post that. Spermicide has a failure rate between 20-50 percent.

Risks:

  • This tablet causes irritation in vaginal tissues and may increase risk to STD as they don’t kill HIV causing viruses or any other STD causing viruses.
  • Spermicides may be allergic to some people and may beirritating to the skin.

Contraceptive Patch:

The contraceptive patch has a small patch that stick to the skin and controls the release of estrogen and progestrogen. It is proved to stop ovulation giving 99 percent effective. It helps get periods lighter and be more regular. No need to worry about adding or removing it. New patch is added may be once in a week or three times in week, following by no patch for one week.
Risks:

  • Make cause some problems to smokers and overweight women.
  • Make increase the risk of breast and cervical cancer

May lead to temporary side effects like headaches, mood swings, breast tenderness, and nausea.

Effects of emergency contraception

Emergency contraception pills are birth control pills that can be taken after an unprotected sexual intercourse for preventing unwanted pregnancy. These pills are also known as ECPs (Emergency Control Pills) and the morning after pills and produce results by altering the hormone levels in the body. There are different types of birth control pills that need to be taken within a certain period of having sex. Levonorgestrel for e.g. has to be taken within 72 hours of having sex for maximum effectiveness. Any delay, and the chances of pregnancy will be highly increased. Then there are some pills that can be taken up to 5 days after having sex. These can, however, be purchased only with a doctor’s prescription.

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