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6 Changes in your body you can expect during the second trimester of pregnancy
The second trimester (starting from the 4th and lasting through the 6th month) of pregnancy is considered to be the easiest for a woman. During this time, your energy is at its peak and instances of fatigue and morning sickness are less severe. Your baby, on the other hand, continues to develop inside your womb.
In addition to these, you can expect big changes within your body during the second trimester, which include:
1. Backaches: The additional weight that you gain during these past few months begins to bear down on your back, making it achy and tired. For relief from pressure, there are certain things that you can do such as using a chair that offers strong support to your back; sleeping on the side with a pillow placed in between your legs and wearing shoes that come with solid arch support.
2. Bleeding gums: Hormonal changes occurring during this period bring about a greater flow of blood to the gums, making them extremely sensitive and prone to bleeding. The gums don’t remain tender for long and return to their normal form after delivery. But during these three months, make sure to use toothbrushes with softer bristles and being gentle when flossing.
3. Congestion and bleeding of the nose: In addition to making your gums tenderer, hormonal changes also bring about the swelling of mucous membranes that line your nose. These changes can lead you to have a stuffy nose as well as may even cause your nose to bleed very easily. To clear any nasal congestion that may occur during this period, you should use natural methods or saline drops obtained from a chemist.
4. Hair growth: Pregnancy also sees your hair growing rapidly due to the action of the hormones on the hair follicles. Additionally, you also experience hair growth in places where hair is sparse. To remove unwanted hair, you should stick to tweezing or shaving, waxing and the use of depilatories aren’t recommended by medical experts as they aren’t considered safe for the baby.
5. White vaginal discharge: White vaginal discharge during this time is very common. The discharge ensures that harmful yeast or bacteria don’t breed in your private areas. But if the discharge takes on a foul smell and a green or yellow colour, you should immediately consult a gynaecologist as you may be down with a vaginal infection.
6. Leg cramps: A very common occurrence during the second trimester, leg cramps usually last through the last leg of pregnancy, which is the third trimester as well. The reasons behind their occurrence may be hormonal, weight-related or deficiency of magnesium and calcium. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
Infertility in a woman refers to the inability to conceive after having regular unprotected sex. Cases of unexplained infertility have been on the rise recently. Though obstructed fallopian tubes and ovulation disorders are some of the common causes of infertility, reasons pertaining to dietary changes can also be responsible. Food allergies and dietary changes affect infertility to a great extent; and if you're struggling with conception or infertility, reviewing your diet can help.
Gluten is a basic food constituent that is likely to cause infertility. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Among the general population, women suffering from unexplained infertility have a higher incidence of gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance is also related to miscarriages, and if left undiagnosed can lead to malabsorption of micronutrients like iron and zinc. Following and maintaining a gluten-free diet may relieve a sufferer from the symptoms. Try and include gluten free cereals like rice, corn and gluten free oats to manage the situation.
Inflammation - Another connection of food allergies and infertility would be inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the food allergens reach the stomach. This inflammation, if heightened, can cause damage to the fallopian tubes and the ovary. The body responds to the food allergens by treating it like a foreign substance that needs to be eradicated, and when your immune system is subjected to chronic inflammation, it can lead to infertility.
Additionally, apart from food allergies, even the consumption of certain foods and beverages can be a reason behind infertility, with those being rich in caffeine being a major cause. Increased consumption of caffeine can augment the risk of infertility and delayed conception. However, avoiding caffeine and eliminating problematic foods along with a careful scrutiny of your diet can increase your chances of getting pregnant. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that occurs in the vagina due to an imbalance in growth of the vaginal bacteria; It is the overgrowth in the naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina causes the imbalance. This disorder is very common among women, especially among pregnant women. This problem is usually not very serious and tends to subside within 4-5 days. However, in certain cases, they are capable of causing serious complications.
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include:
- Vaginal discharge that is white or grey in colour
- Constant itching in your vagina
- The vaginal discharge usually has a foul smelling odour
- Burning sensation during urination
Vaginal bacteria can be either good or bad. Any disruption in the delicate balance of the vaginal bacteria can lead to bacterial vaginosis. There is no exact known cause of this disorder, but it is believed that having multiple sex partners can aggravate this risks. Other factors include:
- Douching: If you clean your vagina with water and other cleansing agents on a regular basis, it might cause a bacterial imbalance, thus leading to this infection.
- Multiple partners: Having multiple sex partners puts you at a higher risk of contracting bacterial vaginosis. This disorder may also lead to various complications such as:
- STIs: This infection may make you highly susceptible to various infections such as Chlamydia, HIV and gonorrhoea.
- Disorders of the pelvic region: Bacterial vaginosis may lead to inflammation in the pelvic region, which in turn may lead to infertility.
- Preterm birth: It increases the chances of premature birth
- Smoking: Smoking frequently increases the risk of a bacterial vaginosis infection.
- Unprotected sex: Having sex without proper protection increases the risk levels of bacterial vaginosis.
There are certain preventive measures that you can adopt to prevent this condition:
- Use soaps which contain no or very little chemicals to clean the region around your genitals
- Use latex condoms during sexual intercourse to prevent STIs.
- Do not clean your vagina (the practice referred to as douching) on a regular basis. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
Herpes is caused due to the presence of the herpes simplex virus in your body. Herpes can appear on multiple areas of your body, but more commonly manifests in the genitals as well as the mouth. The two types of herpes are HSV-1 (oral herpes) and HSV-2 (responsible primarily for the outbreak of genital herpes).
Causes of Herpes Simplex:
- Herpes is contagious in nature and can be passed to you by having sexual intercourse with anyone who has been infected. HSV 2 is the primary form of the virus, which is transmitted in this manner.
- Herpes could be transmitted to an infant from their mother if she was infected while pregnant.
- It can also get passed through direct contact like using the same plates or spoons or even the sharing of lip balm. Even kissing can spread the virus if the infected person has cold sores.
Symptoms of Herpes Simplex:
- The presence of blistering sores within the mouth or in the genital area is a telltale sign that you may have contracted genital herpes.
- If you are having painful urination then you should check with your doctor for the herpes virus.
- Continuous itching in certain areas such as the genitals.
- Not wanting to eat, having a fever could also be symptoms of herpes simplex virus in your body.
- Herpes can spread to your eyes and is known as herpes keratitis. It can cause pain in your eyes.
Diagnosis of Herpes Simplex:
- The common way to diagnose herpes is with an actual physical exam. Doctors will generally look out for sores on your body and may also check for some similar symptoms which might indicate herpes simplex.
- HSV testing (alternately called herpes culture) is done to check the presence of a virus on the genitals. A fluid sample from the genitals is sent to laboratory for tests and will require a visit to the health center.
- There are blood tests to look for antibodies for both forms of HSV to diagnose the infections. However, this test is done only when there is and absence of sores or visible symptoms. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes where the blood sugar levels of the body increase during pregnancy. When you are expecting, your body is more repellent to insulin so that a larger amount of glucose is manufactured for the baby’s nourishment. However, this excess blood glucose can build up within the body which causes gestational diabetes. This can lead to health problems for both the mother and the baby. At the end of the gestational period i.e. once the baby is delivered, blood sugar reduces to normal.
When are you at a risk for gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes can also be hereditary. If a family member or a relative has diabetes, you are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
If you are overweight, you are more susceptible to developing gestational diabetes.
What causes gestational diabetes?
During pregnancy, the placenta connects your baby to the blood supply. This produces other hormones which reduce the levels of insulin. This increases the level of blood sugar in your blood. As your baby develops, your body manufactures more of such hormones which block your insulin levels leading to gestational diabetes. This usually occurs from the 20th week of your pregnancy.
Increase in Birth Weight – Extra glucose crosses through the placenta which instigates the baby’s pancreas to manufacture more insulin. This can make your baby very large. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for the baby to pass through the birth canal during childbirth as a result.
Premature Birth and Respiratory Diseases – High blood sugar may increase the risk of an early labor. It may make the baby due before the 37th week of pregnancy. This also makes the baby more susceptible to respiratory disorders.
High Blood Pressure – Gestational diabetes also raises your risks for high blood pressure. This can be fatal for you as well as your baby’s health.
Follow a healthy eating schedule. Limit the amount of carbohydrates and ensure you have a healthy and balanced meal.
Do light exercises regularly during pregnancy. This helps you to control your blood sugar level. Physical activities which require low levels of energy utilization such as swimming and walking will control your blood sugar level without exerting you too much.
- Taking insulin shots and medicine for diabetes will also control your blood sugar levels if you have a pre-existing condition.