Contrary to what some people may believe, exercise during pregnancy does not raise the risks of miscarriage or low birth weight or early delivery. On the contrary, it offers a host of benefits to both the mother and the child. However, this doesn't mean that there are no risks of a workout during pregnancy whatsoever.
Women who have been active before pregnancy may continue with the exercises. But, those who are new to exercise must get advice on the exercise regimen from an expert. Here is an account of the benefits and the risks associated-
Benefits of exercise on the mother’s emotional health
Various studies have shown that women who keep themselves physically fit during pregnancy are generally more relaxed, and thus they can cope better with the psychological and emotional strains of pregnancy.
Women, who work out throughout pregnancy develop a better sense of wellbeing owing to a wide array of positive effects from exercise such as controlling weight and maintaining body image and self-esteem. It also helps improve sleep. Further, it is believed that the positive effects stay even after delivery, which may reduce the incidence of postnatal depression.
It is a proven fact that women who exercise during pregnancy experience increased muscular and cardiovascular strength and fitness. It also improves posture owing to the increase in abdominal and upper body strength. Exercising during pregnancy improves blood circulation, which, in turn, can prevent varicose veins as well as deep vein thrombosis. It also helps reduce instances of constipation and swelling. Furthermore, expectant mothers experience less pain during labor along with reduced medical interventions. It is also proven that the mothers, who work out regularly, give birth to an emotionally and physically healthy baby.
Risks of exercising during pregnancy-
Though exercise is proven to be a safe means of mitigating various problems, it can bring about some risks and complications as well.
The hormones which are stimulated during pregnancy can induce premature contractions. Also, it causes an increase in glucose consumption for helping the fatigued muscles to cope up. It may affect the glucose level of the fetus as well. Overheating while exercising can disrupt the maternal thermoregulation to a great extent. Therefore, one should refrain from strenuous workouts or work out in high temperatures.
A few specific risks-
Exercise during pregnancy is not advisable when you have medical conditions like asthma, Type I diabetes or heart disease. Also, women with obstetric conditions such as bleeding or spotting, and weak cervix must refrain from exercising.
It is necessary to take an opinion from your gynecologist before you start with your exercise plan. Particularly, when you wish to do aerobic exercises, it is quite necessary to consult your doctor as the exercises may not suit you under several conditions.
Thus, staying active with an exercise plan is beneficial, but with necessary care and guidance, of course.
Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is defined as a condition where the woman suffers three or more pregnancy losses consecutively and the miscarriages occur within 20 weeks from the last menstrual cycle of the women. This condition is fairly common in women. Some of the causes that may be responsible for this condition include genetic factors, uterine disorders, hypothyroidism, diabetes, anatomical or cervical conditions, endocrine-related disorders, auto-immune diseases, chronic endometritis, viral infection, ecological conditions, and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS).
As part of the RPL diagnosis, the medical experts will conduct transvaginal ultrasonography during the early stages of the pregnancy. If the woman is not pregnant, had had two to three pregnancy losses in the past, and is being evaluated for pregnancy loss, the doctors may deem it suitable to conduct parental chromosome testing (karyogram). Also, blood tests may also be carried out to determine blood sugar levels, thyroid-related problems, ovarian dysfunction, and thrombophilia.
Treatment For RPL-
When treating a woman for RPL, the doctors will need to determine the cause of this condition. In cases of congenital thrombophilia and antiphospholipid syndrome, the doctors could prescribe anticoagulants if the woman has suffered recurrent miscarriages. Several studies conducted in the past have shown that through a course of antibiotics, women suffering from chronic endometritis can enjoy a healthy pregnancy. In cases wherein the woman is found to have a karyotypic disorder, she is advised to undergo genetic counselling. During the sessions, the genetic specialist will have a discussion on the type of genetic disorder and the possibility of future pregnancies.
Some couples may also opt for prenatal genetic studies for analyzing the genetic makeup of the fetus. In this procedure, chorionic virus sampling and amniocentesis may be carried out. In cases of chromosomal conditions, when treatment is not available, the in vitro fertilization (IVF) with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) procedure may be advised. As a part of this treatment, the woman is given shots over a period of some days for eggs to grow in her ovaries. Then, the eggs are obtained through a minor surgery and sperm is injected into them to enable the embryos to grow. Thereafter, a single cell of the embryo is subjected to biopsy and the genetic disposition is examined. This helps to prevent the transfer of an afflicted embryo. In cases of uterine abnormality, the doctors may conduct surgery as a part of the treatment.
In cases of thyroid-related issues or diabetes, medicines for treating the respective conditions are prescribed. However, if the patient has antiphospholipid syndrome, they are given drugs to prevent the development of blood clots.
The condition of women who has a history of recurrent pregnancy loss must be monitored closely. Even if they are given proper treatment, the chances of future pregnancy loss cannot be ruled out completely. After each pregnancy loss, the woman may suffer from psychological trauma and she may harbor doubts about her ability to conceive as well. In such cases, they require counselling for helping them in overcoming their grief. Also, recurrent miscarriages can result in women suffering from coronary heart disease, cardiovascular problems, and ovarian cancer at a later stage. During their later pregnancies, they run the risk of having preeclampsia as well. Moreover, the mortality rates of such groups of women are high.
Unexplained RPL: In cases of unexplained RPL, there are no treatments available. The afflicted groups are given counselling. By doing so, there is around 50 to 60 percent probability of them delivering in their subsequent pregnancy. However, with each pregnancy loss, the woman’s chances of conceiving diminish. Aspirin is not known to be effective in preventing recurrent miscarriages in women. Also, immunotherapy does not meet the desired results. Currently, the drug NT100 is under scrutiny for improving the chances of conception in women with unexplained recurrent pregnancy losses.
It is no hidden fact that miscarriages hurt you deeply. The trauma that comes with it is unbearable, but you will have to get through it. Don’t blame yourself for the situation, you may not know it but miscarriages are quite common. Doctors have said that one out of four pregnancies ends up in a miscarriage. If you have experienced more than two consecutive miscarriages then you are suffering from a recurrent miscarriage. If you are going through recurrent miscarriages then there are some medical conditions to blame.
Is miscarriage the end?
A recurrent miscarriage may sometimes complicate things a little, but don’t think that it is the end. As the medical research has progressed, there are several ways for you to get pregnant or have a child. There is in vitro fertilization or IVF which is one of the best ways to cope with a miscarriage. Even if you are having some problem with your fallopian tube IVF can solve your problems and fertilization will be done in the lab and the embryo will be implanted.
How to cope with the emotional stress?
Miscarriages are hard in itself, and you need to deal with the post-miscarriage situation with the utmost maturity to keep your psychological and physical state under complete care. Emotionally good health will go a long way and let you think clearly about your options. If the stress and sadness of the miscarriage have brought you down, then seek the counseling of psychiatrist. Don’t feel ashamed to share your feeling and never suppress them. Talk about them and if needed join a support group that will help you to get through the tough situation.
Remember one thing that if you are emotionally aggrieved and suppress your feelings then that will take a toll on your relationship with your partner. With IVF becoming so developed, there is no need to lament about miscarriage.
How can I improve my fertility?
You may be suffering from recurrent miscarriages, but you should not lose your hope. Keep on trying and you may succeed. You never know. Visit the specialists and let them know your medical history. With special care, IVF can solve all your problems.
But only IVF would never work. Opt for a healthy lifestyle by doing exercises, eating healthy foods, quit smoking, and reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake. You should take a multivitamin rich in folic acid every day. You should also restrict your exposure to environmental chemicals and toxins. It is advisable that you leave behind any kind of heavy lifting, strenuous physical exercises, and any dangerous contact sports. Try not to take stress by taking up yoga or tai chi. And most importantly, try to maintain a healthy sexual relationship with your partner and contact your doctor to know when can you get pregnant again.
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:
1. Chromosomal abnormalities
Incompatible chromosomes can result in pregnancy losses. When an egg and a sperm meet, of which one of them is faulty, they can't line up properly resulting in 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.
3. Immunologic disorders
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.
6. Bacterial infections
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 the development of embryo, thus leading to miscarriages.
Smoking and drinking are harmful lifestyle habits which may increase the 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.
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, the 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: