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During pregnancy, it is not uncommon for women to contract thyroid diseases like gestational hyperthyroidism and gestational hypothyroidism. The main problem, however, is that the symptoms of gestational hypothyroidism are very much similar to those which can be observed during a normal pregnancy. The difficulty in differentiating between the two is the sole reason why many pregnant women are caught unawares, eventually resulting in further complications after the first trimester.
If gestational thyroid diseases are left untreated, you and your baby may experience a ton of problems such as preeclampsia, low birth weight, miscarriage and pre-mature birth amongst others. Needless to say, if you already have a history of pre-existing hypothyroidism, then you will most certainly need more medical attention than is required.
Symptoms of gestational hypothyroidism, like high fatigue and excessive weight gain, are hardly distinguishable from those associated with a normal pregnancy. Other symptoms can also include:
There may be a variety of causes that are responsible for the development of gestational hypothyroidism but the most common cause is usually an autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which stimulates the body's immune system to attack thyroid gland cells, leading to a deficiency in the number of active thyroid cells and enzymes, and ultimately resulting in a shortage of the thyroid hormone.
Treatment for gestational hypothyroidism is normally uncomplicated, and follows just two simple steps:-
1. Proper diagnosis, via the use of a synthetic hormone called levothyroxine, which is very much similar to the hormone T4 produced by the thyroid.
2. Continuous monitoring of thyroid function tests held every four to six weeks during pregnancy.
Recurrent miscarriage is a condition when there has been three or more successive pregnancy losses. It is different from infertility as, infertility is the inability to conceive.For many cases, cause of a recurrent miscarriage has not always been found. A number of factors can cause recurrent miscarriages of which some are treatable.It may not always be possible to identify a cause for recurrent miscarriage in a couple even after extensive research and treatment procedures. Some of the common causes of recurrent miscarriage are described below:
Incompatible chromosomes can result into pregnancy losses. When an egg and a sperm meet, of which one of them is faulty, they can't line up properly resulting into chromosomal abnormality. Such conditions lead to miscarriages.
2.Uterine abnormalities or Incompetent cervixes
Miscarriages occur if the uterus is abnormally shaped since the embryo is not properly implanted or even if it gets implanted, it may not get sufficient nourishment to survive. If the woman has a weak cervix, it cannot hold the developing embryo, leading to miscarriage.
Under rare cases, the embryo itself is not accepted by the body. Antiphospholipid antibodies are antibodies which attack self-tissues such as embryos and prevent them from building up. This leads to miscarriages.
4.Untreated thyroid problems
Conditions such as thyroid or uncontrolled diabetes result in uterine conditions which make it tough for the embryos to survive.
5.Polycystic ovary syndrome
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome tend to have high levels of male hormones which result in irregular menstruation and ovulation. This can prevent the lining of the endometrium from maturing that is required for holding the embryo.
There may be presence of a number of micro-organisms inside the reproductive tract that may be harmless for the person. But there may be certain bacteria lined up in the reproductive tract which can prevent development of embryo, thus leading to miscarriages.
Smoking and drinking are harmful lifestyle habits which may increase chances of miscarriages to a great extent. It is always advised to avoid smoking or drinking when you wish to conceive. Other lifestyle conditions, such as working in certain environments like hospital environments, farms, laboratories, etc, may lead to miscarriages; however, the exact reason has not been identified yet.
Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful, but exhausting times of a woman's life. There are a quite a few precautions you need to take and quite a few factors you need to consider before doing anything. Take for example working during pregnancy. Working while you're pregnant can be challenging, but if you keep these do's and don'ts in mind, it can become an easy task.
Do: Get Adequate Rest
The first few weeks of pregnancy can take a toll on your body. If your sleep schedule is off, you need to fix it and sleep for the usual 8-9 hours a day. If you undertake a lot of physically strenuous work or even if have a desk job, you need to take a break as it can get very taxing for you. To avoid work-related exhaustion and stress, take frequent breaks to give your body the rest it requires. Speak to a doctor or trainer for simple stretches that will help you alleviate stress on your joints and keep you muscles relaxed.
Do: Be Smart About Your Work
Jobs that require heavy lifting must be avoided at all costs as they can give rise to severe complications during pregnancy. When you're pregnant you should also avoid work that regularly exposes you to radiation, harmful chemicals, lead and X-rays. Ask your supervisor to shift the sort of work you are doing as often it's illegal to continue working in conditions that actively harm your pregnancy.
Do: Take Multivitamins and Necessary Supplements
Work often doesn't leave you with enough time to take good care of yourself. You may end up skipping meals due to a hectic work schedule, which can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. To keep the worst effects of this kind of a lifestyle at bay, make sure to take your multivitamins and supplements religiously and regularly.
Do: Be Super Hygienic
It is extremely important to maintain high standards of personal hygiene and sanitation during your pregnancy. This becomes even more important if you work in an environment that exposes you to infectious diseases, raw meats and children. Keep a hand sanitizer with you at all times, and make sure you don't ingest anything that has come into contact with contagions.
Don't: Go For Long Stretches Without Eating
Keeping your stomach empty during pregnancy can have a lot of unwanted effects ranging from bloating, acidity and gas to nausea and vomiting. Have a light breakfast and keep snacking on small portions of nutritious food throughout the day. Also, ensure that you maintain optimum fluid intake. The regular 8-10 glasses of water a day is an absolute must.
Don't: Be stressed
Stress during pregnancy can have damaging effects on your and your baby's health, severely affecting the physical and mental development of your unborn child. Avoid taking on extra work for the duration of your pregnancy. Lighten your workload as much as you can and make sure to take meditation and baby-safe yoga classes to keep your stress in check.
As long as you take these simple precautions, you can continue to work throughout your pregnancy. So, remember to follow these guidelines to ensure a safe and healthy experience for both you and your growing baby.
Endometriosis is a common gynecological disorder where the tissue lining the uterus grows outside the uterine cavity. Endometriosis is caused most commonly by menstrual blood flowing back into the fallopian tubes instead of leaving the body. This endometrial tissue may then leak into the abdomen through a surgical scar or cut in the uterine lining, leading to endometriosis.
Here are five things you should know about this condition.
It is hard to diagnose
The first roadblock to diagnosing endometriosis is that though it is a very common condition, there is a lack of knowledge about it. The classic symptoms include heavy periods, painful bowel movements and urination, depression, fatigue and pain all over the body. The only way to correctly diagnose endometriosis is through a laparoscopy or keyhole surgery.
Endometriosis is not equal to infertility
One of the myths surrounding endometriosis is that it causes infertility. However, this is not true. When treated properly, endometriosis does not affect your fertility, and it is still safe for you to have children. At the same time, you should also know that being pregnant does not cure the condition.
It can reduce your sex drive
One of the symptoms of endometriosis is chronic pain all over the body. This coupled with fatigue and depression can reduce your sex drive drastically. Additionally, the act of intercourse itself also becomes painful for women suffering from endometriosis. This pain can be dealt with through pain relievers, or by experimenting with positions to find the one which is most comfortable for you.
Some women have a higher risk of endometriosis
The exact cause and triggers of endometriosis are still unknown. However, certain factors are said to raise the risk of endometriosis. These are:
1. Genetics: Endometriosis may be passed genetically from generation to generation.
2. Pelvic infections: Scarring of the uterine walls via infections or surgeries can give the menstrual blood that falls back to the fallopian tubes a way out of the uterine cavity, and hence lead to endometriosis.
3. Short Menstrual cycles: Women with menstrual cycles that are shorter than 27 days, or those who have periods that last longer than 7 days are more susceptible to endometriosis than others. However, myths that suggest delayed pregnancy as one of the causes of endometriosis are false.
There is no known cure
The treatment for endometriosis addresses it many symptoms as there is no known cure for the disease itself. Even a hysterectomy will not cure this disease unless it includes the removal of your ovaries as well. Over the counter pain medication may help deal with the muscle aches, while hormonal treatments that slow down the production of estrogen can help with the painful menses. Light exercises such as walking and swimming can also help deal with the discomfort of endometriosis.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is common in pregnant women, even in those who have no previous history of high blood pressure. This leads to complications in about 6% to 10% of all pregnancies around the world. High blood pressure may develop before or after conception and as such needs special medical attention.
Hypertension prevents sufficient flow of blood to the placenta and this inhibits the normal growth of the fetus. This could result in low birth weight of the child. However, if diagnosed in time and treated properly, hypertension does not affect the child's health too much. There are various types of hypertension during pregnancies, such as:
This type of hypertension is developed about 20 weeks after conception. There is no abnormality in urine or any signs of other organ damage (as is common with hypertension during pregnancy) but the condition can worsen and complicate very quickly. Pregnant women below the age of 20 and above the age of 40 are often diagnosed with high levels of blood pressure. Women who have heart or kidney conditions before pregnancy and women carrying more than one child are also likely to develop gestational hypertension.
Chronic hypertension is high blood pressure which develops around 20 weeks before conception and does not normalize within 12 weeks after childbirth. The patient may also have been suffering from high blood pressure for a long time but the complications appear only during pregnancy because high blood pressure rarely exhibits symptoms without an associated condition.
3.Chronic hypertension superimposed with Preeclampsia
Women who have hypertension before pregnancy may develop even higher blood pressure levels during pregnancy. This leads to several health disorders like frequent headaches, fatigue and depression. Sometimes, protein is found in the urine.
Preeclampsia is often a serious complication of gestational pregnancy and affects about 5% to 7% of all pregnancies globally. Gestational pregnancy does not always develop into preeclampsia but it needs to be diagnosed and treated in time to avoid the complication. Women who have conceived for the first time or have a history of hypertension in the family are at a greater risk of preeclampsia. The symptoms of the condition are throbbing headaches, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, pain in the upper abdominal region and shortness of breath.
The vagina is a tube-like muscular structure of the female genital tract that extends from the cervix to the vulva. It is a delicate organ which is prone to injuries and infections.Complications related to urination, menstruation and sexual intercourse- all affect the vaginal health. Here are five questions associated with vaginal problems that are commonly experienced but rarely discussed:
1. Why does it feel itchy before menstruation?
The hormonal cycle reduces the amount of estrogen secreted right before the period starts. This reduces the moisture content of the inner membranes of the vagina; the skin becomes thinner and slightly dry. This can cause the itching. However, if the itching and burning sensation is too severe, it could be an infection and should be checked out.
2. What is the white discharge?
The greasy white discharge is due to the ovulation cycle. It usually occurs once a month because the amount of secretion increases right before ovulation. Some women may experience this discharge more frequently but it is nothing to worry about unless there is an unpleasant odor. Odorous discharge could be a sign of bacterial infection.
3. How often should you have a vaginal examination?
You should get a vaginal examination at least once a year. This is important for a general health assessment and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. If you are using birth control medication, there might be irregularity in the hormonal cycles and this can lead to a number of conditions- another reason to get an annual vaginal examination.
4. Does it smell differently at different times?
It usually smells differently for every woman and even that unique smell changes with the cycles of ovulation and menstruation due to changes in the pH level of the vagina. The normal vaginal pH value is between 3.8 and 4.6. Before menstruation, it may smell acidic followed by a bitter smell for a few days after menstruation. It may also smell differently after a workout (due to sweat) or after sex (due to lubrication). However, a foul smell accompanied by discharge, might be a cause for concern.
5. Why does it feel dry sometimes?
Vaginal dryness is normally experienced by women after the age of 45 or after pregnancy. However, dryness is also common just before menstruation. It also happens in women who use anti-allergy medications or birth control pills because they cause dryness in all the mucous membranes of the body.
Vaginal bleeding is something that most women experience between their periods when they are not due for a menstrual cycle. It is considered as an abnormal occurrence when you bleed before you are expecting your menstrual period, or after you are done with your monthly cycle. It is usually characterised by bouts of spotting where a thick brown reddish discharge may be experienced. Also, this kind of bleeding is considered abnormal if it occurs during pregnancy or menopause.
Here are a few causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding:
- Hormones: An imbalance in the hormones like the estrogen and progesterone can lead to abnormal vaginal bleeding. These are the hormones that help in regulation of the monthly menstrual cycles. An imbalance can occur due to side effects caused by birth control pills that may not suit the individual, a contraceptive patch, or even contraceptive implants and injections. Further, an intrauterine device may also be the cause for this kind of bleeding. The hormonal balance can also get affected due to internal ailments like a dysfunctional thyroid gland and ovaries.
- Pregnancy and Delivery: Some amount of spotting is considered normal in the first trimester of one's pregnancy. Yet, severe bleeding and persistent spotting must be reported to the gynaecologist immediately. Women also bleed for a while after the delivery of the baby, in the post-partum period. This may also happen when an abortion takes place as the uterus may not have come back to its original size and due to remaining foetal tissues within. Complications during the pregnancy like an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage can also lead to such kind of bleeding. An ectopic pregnancy is one where the egg gets implanted in the fallopian tube instead of entering and implanting itself in the uterus.
- Fibroids: Uterine fibroids are usually considered as non-malignant and non-cancerous growths within the uterus. These are common in many women who have gone through child birth. These fibroids can also cause some amount of bleeding and spotting.
- Infections: When there is an infection in the reproductive organs like the ovaries and uterus of the patient, there may be some amount of bleeding. An infection in this area can also cause inflammation, which is one of the primary causes of abnormal bleeding. This can also occur due to a sexually transmitted disease or STD, as well as painful intercourse and sexual abuse which can lead to scarring as well.
- Cancer: One of the least common causes includes cervical, ovarian and other forms of cancer.
Stress and diabetes can also cause abnormal vaginal bleeding in rare cases. It is best to see a doctor as soon as such bleeding takes place.