Doctor in Santosh Multispeciality Hospital
Asthma is the most common chronic condition for women in pregnancy. While Asthma control can affect pregnancy, pregnancy too can affect Asthma. Yet while pregnancy does not beget Asthma, neither does it abate.
Nevertheless, Asthma management during pregnancy is very important. Improper Asthma management, especially in difficult Asthma, during pregnancy may imperil both the mother and the child.
Avoiding Asthma Triggers
Asthma triggers may be different for different people. In general, one or a few of the following act as Asthma triggers:
Allergens like pollen, dust mite etc.
Certain occupational exposure
Certain drugs like β‐blockers, aspirin etc.
Additives like tartrazine, monosodium glutamate etc.
Certain medical conditions like gastric reflux, rhinitis etc.
Apart from avoiding these Asthma triggers, she would also need to follow the instructions of her gynecologists. She should always be concerned that if the treatment is not working or if she is experiencing any trouble, she must consult with the gynecologists. She can also do some exercises to stay active and healthy.
However, she should always consult a doctor before doing any exercise, especially for those who have experienced Asthma attacks in the past.
Effects of Asthma on Pregnancy
Poor Asthma management and difficult Asthma before pregnancy are associated with increased risk of hypertension during pregnancy, which can beget Preeclampsia. Studies have also shown that women with Asthma tend to undergo Caesarean sections more than others. It has also been observed that Asthma may restrict the growth of the fetus leading to low birth weight.
However, this is more due to poor Asthma control such as persistent breathing difficulty or poor lung function etc., than Asthma per se.
Effects of Pregnancy on Asthma
Certain physiological factors during pregnancy do affect Asthma. In difficult Asthma, control usually deteriorates between 24 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, mainly due to poor adherence to corticosteroids. This is why pregnant women with Asthma should be monitored closely irrespective of the severity of Asthma.
Breathlessness in Pregnancy
Breathlessness during pregnancy is common. In fact, even pregnant women with no Asthma symptoms may feel breathless at times. It reflects some normal physiological and anatomical changes during pregnancy. Even anxiety may precipitate breathlessness. This indicates that pregnant women with difficult Asthma may feel breathless, not just because of Asthma, but also because of normal changes during this period. However, new incidents of Asthma can also be a cause of breathlessness.
Respiratory Distress in Pregnant Women
Respiratory distress in pregnant women may not always be due to asthma. There may be a whole host of reasons that include Anxiety, Hyperventilation, chest infection, dysfunctional breathing, pneumonia, interstitial lung disease, thromboembolic disease, amniotic fluid embolism, pneumothorax, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy and a variety of endocrine, hematological and renal disorders.
Preventing Respiratory Distress During Pregnancy
Apart from avoiding Asthma triggers, pregnant women with Asthma or difficult Asthma need to strictly adhere to Asthma control. This indicates that they need to adhere to their corticosteroids religiously. However, before that, they also need to make sure that the corticosteroid is safe to be taken during pregnancy.
Asthma may or may not affect pregnancy. However, it is always a great idea to go for Asthma management. This will help women deal with complications related to Asthma during pregnancy.
Apart from that, always consult a doctor before going for any medication related to Asthma control, or actual treatment of Asthma.
Tuberculosis during pregnancy is the third leading cause of maternal mortality. In fact, it is one of the most feared diseases during pregnancy for mothers as well as children. The problem with Tuberculosis during pregnancy is that it is most often not diagnosed until very late in pregnancy or until child birth. This acts as a double-edged sword since it leads to progression of the disease in the mother and transmission of the disease to the child concurrently.
The best way to prevent Tuberculosis during pregnancy is to stay away from causative factors for tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis during pregnancy can harm both the mother and the child. It can be grouped in two ways: effect on mother and effect on fetus.
Effect on Mother
Diagnosing Tuberculosis during pregnancy becomes difficult due to various changes in the body, including the immune system. Diagnosis is further vitiated due to no apparent weight loss. In fact, weight loss due to Tuberculosis is disguised by weight gain during pregnancy. However, pregnant women with Tuberculosis may experience less than normal weight gain.
Effect on Fetus
Tuberculosis during pregnancy affects the baby in different ways:
The fetus may contract the disease from the mother through the umbilical cord. This is referred to as congenital tuberculosis. The baby can contract the disease during its passage through the birth canal too. However, the symptoms of congenital Tuberculosis are often non-specific in nature. Since the mother also does not show any specific symptoms, it becomes difficult to diagnose the disease right after birth.
The child may suffer from swelling in the liver or spleen.
It may also suffer from respiratory problems, fever, etc.
How to Stay Away from Contracting Tuberculosis
The danger of contracting Tuberculosis bacteria during pregnancy is multiplied if the pregnant mother has a weak immune system. If a pregnant woman is exposed to bacteria during pregnancy, she may contract the disease. This is why pregnant women need to stay away from the disease by doing the following:
Staying away from TB infected persons around you
Stopping smoking since it enhances the risk of contracting the disease
Avoiding poor living conditions
Fighting Tuberculosis During Pregnancy
Management of Tuberculosis during pregnancy is extremely important since that can help you avoid any harm either to the mother or to the child. Though doctors would in all probability prescribe antibiotics, there are certain medicines that you need to avoid during pregnancy. Gynecologists are well aware of these drugs. Along with taking antibiotics, you also need to make sure that you:
Eat a balanced and healthy diet.
Breathe plenty of fresh air.
People might think that taking medicine for Tuberculosis can harm their unborn child. However, the untreated Tuberculosis is even more harmful for the fetus. This is why doctors may recommend some TB drugs that help prevent the child from Tuberculosis. There are many medicines available that won’t affect the child.
Eating healthy food, following proper treatment and medication, and some preventing measures will surely help the women to save the child from these conditions.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a program of exercise and education to increase awareness among patients about chronic lung conditions. Chronic lung conditions that may necessitate such programs are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis etc.
The aim of such a program is to help patients rebuild strength and lead a more vigorous life. For pregnant women, pulmonary problems can endanger both the mother and the child. This is why, in the case of pregnant women suffering from chronic pulmonary problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis etc., Pulmonary Rehabilitation is necessary. This can improve their lung function and help them carry their pregnancy better.
Relevant classes are held in groups. Patients get the chance to meet others suffering from similar lung conditions. They can discuss among themselves and get emotional support. The skills learned and knowledge acquired in such settings can help in managing chronic lung diseases. Patients may enhance their level of fitness. They can learn to exercise their lungs and keep their muscles more active. This may ensure better fostering for the fetus.
The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team and Venue
Pulmonary Rehabilitation is administered by a team consisting of nurses, doctors, physical therapists, exercise specialists, respiratory therapists, and dietitians. These health professionals can together customize rehab programs that meet individual needs. So pregnant patients are offered rehabilitation differently compared to other patients.
It is an outpatient procedure and may be conducted in a hospital setting or a clinic. One can also avail it at home, if her condition so necessitates it.
For Whom Is It Ideal
Doctors recommend Pulmonary Rehabilitation for patients who suffer from lung conditions that precipitate frequent shortness of breath episodes. These patients may not be able to perform regular activities efficiently despite taking medicines. Although most patients in such rehab programs suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, other chronic lung conditions that may limit breathing and activity may also precipitate the need for such programs.
Tests Carried Out During the Program
One of the basic tests carried out during the rehabilitation program is the six-minute walk test. This test measures the percentage of oxygen in the blood. The therapist assists patients to undergo this test during the rehabilitation program. It shows how much oxygen one may need during different activities or exercises. The therapist then guides individuals through different exercises and use of oxygen during those exercises.
Rehab at Home
The program can be carried out at home, too. However, this is possible only after going through the classes and learning tips about exercising. Since it is an educational program for people with lung disease, it augurs well to take peer support and therapy support in a hospital setting initially and also at times. In between, routine activities can be conducted at home. However, pregnant women need to keep their gynecologists in the loop about various exercises advised by the therapists.
Breathlessness is common during pregnancy. This is why following an exercise regime is one of the more apt ways for pregnant women to control pulmonary or respiratory complications. This will also help for those women who are suffering from any pulmonary disease to lower the chance of getting affected by it. These exercises will calm the nervous system and lower the stress level of the mind.
It's anything, but difficult to make a hasty judgment when you understand your period is late. In case you're attempting to conceive, you may have this feeling of incredulity. In case you're not, you may feel frustrated or disarrayed in the event that you know it is highly unlikely you could be pregnant. The truth of the matter is, however, the vast majority naturally consider pregnancy, at the time of a late period, it may be the case that or one of numerous different conceivable outcomes.
- Preganancy: Sometimes when you miss your period, the cause maybe exactly what you think you could be pregnant! The initial symptoms of pregnancy such as bloating of the stomach, cramping of stomach, and tenderness in breasts can resemble the feeling that you get before your periods; may create confusion whether you are actually pregnant or if your periods are a little delayed. If your periods are delayed for over 10 days, then it is better to take a home pregnancy test.
- Stress: Stress can have several effects on your body such as headaches, acne, weight gain and other issues. Stress can also make you miss your periods. When you are stressed, your body synthesizes stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These elevated levels force your brain to differentiate between essential and non-essential functions of the body. The blood supply to the muscles of the body can increase while systems such as the digestive system or the reproductive system can be subdued. This results in delayed period.
- Excessive exercise: Working out and maintaining fitness is a great thing to do; although when you overdo it, it restricts your body from producing enough oestrogen, the hormone that helps in completing your menstrual cycle. Thus professionals such as ballet dancers, athletes and gymnasts face a higher chance of suffering through amenorrhea (missing periods) for 3-4 months. Also if you work out too much without consuming enough calories, it can cause disruptions.
- Illness: When your body is battling a disease such as common cold or even fever, your brain starts concentrating on the functions that are important for the body. This can contribute to missing your period.
- Weight: If you lose excessive amount of weight without maintaining a good diet, you can deprive your body from producing oestrogen that helps build up the uterine lining. The same thing happens with eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia. On the contrary, if you are obese, it can result in over production of oestrogen that can stop your ovulation in totality. This may lead to heavy, irregular periods.
Menopause is characterized by the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. It is the time in a woman’s life when the ovaries stop functioning. The periods then stop forever. The normal period of menopause is 51 years of age, however, menopause may happen as ahead of schedule as the 30s or as late as the 60s. There is no solid lab test to determine when a lady will encounter menopause. Early menopause usually starts between the ages of 40 and 45. Untimely menopause begins significantly earlier, before the age of 40. Nevertheless, premature or early menopause is not that common with only about one percent of the women going through early menopause before the age of 40.
The signs and symptoms of early menopause are like the usual menopause. Some basic side effects include:
- Irregular periods (amenorrhea)
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood shifts
- Mental fogginess
- Diminished sex drive
Your specialist will suggest a treatment depending on your individual circumstances. Some common ways to deal with premature or early menopause are as follows:
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Supplements containing estrogen and progestin can help and replace some of your reproductive hormones in the body that can no longer make it all alone. They are frequently taken until the normal period of menopause (around 50) to help avoid bone loss. This treatment is not suggested for all ladies since it expands the danger of:
Supplemental Calcium and Vitamin D
Supplementary calcium and vitamin D can help in preventing osteoporosis in case you are not getting enough of these supplements from your normal diet. Women between ages 19 to 50 need to consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium for each day through food or supplements. Ladies over age 51 need to consume 1,200 milligrams for each day. A prescribed day-to-day measure of vitamin D has not yet been built up. For grown-up females, most specialists prescribe 600 to 800 global units through food or supplements. One should get a prescription from a doctor before ingesting the medication.
Other strategies to deal with Infertility
A few ladies with untimely menopause can at present get pregnant with no treatment. Ladies who want to have children, however, tend to become infertile after early or untimely menopause, need to consider in-vitro treatment, fertilization or even adoption.
Numerous ladies discover that having a conversation with a therapist can be supportive to adapt to their anxiety. It helps them release their pent up emotions and gives the clarity and satisfaction about their problems. Talk therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy are always beneficial since they help in addressing the symptoms and side effects that a woman may be going through emotionally when it comes to early menopause.
Pregnancy brings with it a slew of changes in the physiological parameters of women. Women are susceptible to a number of complications, including respiratory complications during this stage. An abnormal chest X-ray or a complaint regarding some kind of respiratory trouble guides doctors to explore the possibility of pregnancy leading to respiratory complications.
Let us explore the likely respiratory complications during pregnancy.
Though studies do not indicate any increase in risk of pneumococcal infection during pregnancy, it has been observed that complications arising out of pneumonia are increased during this time. Anemic or asthmatic women are more susceptible to this infection, and the risk of complications is also more common in such women. It entails risk for both the mother and the child. While the child can be born preterm or low in weight, the mother can even suffer respiratory failure.
It is a kind of fungal infection that affects the respiratory system, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. It is a respiratory tract infection that is self- limiting in nature. However, owing to reduced immunity during pregnancy, this fungal infection may turn out to be severe. It may cause a variety of complications, including pneumonia, fever, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, etc.
However, timely diagnosis and administration of antifungal therapy has reduced maternal mortality to a large extent.
There is a risk of formation of blood clots during pregnancy due to hypercoagulability of blood during this stage. This leads to an enhanced risk of embolic pneumonia, where blood clots may block an artery in the lungs. It is an emergency condition where patients usually have difficulty breathing, chest pain, cough, etc.
Pregnancy is not a risk factor for asthma, but asthma during pregnancy may exacerbate the risk of complications such as premature birth, restricted growth, preeclampsia, etc.
Tips to Avoid
These and other respiratory complications during pregnancy, if any, increase the risk of complications for the mother as well as the fetus. However, there are ways that pregnant women can adopt to get over these problems and give birth to a healthy baby.
- Avoid Crowded Place in Pregnancy: Pregnancy enhances the risk of Pneumonia, and Pneumonia is mostly a community acquired. Pregnant women can try to avoid Pneumonia by avoiding going to crowded places.
- Eat Immune Boosting Food: Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection that is mostly diagnosed during the third trimester. However, it is usually a self-limiting infection. Along with avoiding going to crowded places, she also needs to take immune-boosting food such as citrus fruits, green vegetables, etc.
- Walk Regularly: Pulmonary Embolism is the result of being immobile for a long time. This happens during pregnancy and this is what makes pregnant women susceptible to the problem. One can tide over the problem by taking regular strolls at home or outside and doing regular chores.
- Consult with Gynecologist in Case of Asthma: If she is suffering from asthma, she must discuss it with the gynecologist. Most asthma medications are safe to be taken during pregnancy.
- Take Care of Infant Breath: Pregnant women should regularly visit gynecologists for checkups. They should also take a balanced diet and stay happy for the healthy life of the child.