There is every possibility that even after going through more than three rounds of IVF, the treatment might not turn out to be successful, wherein it might not result in pregnancy. Naturally this kind of situation makes women frustrated and thus leads them to consider other alternative options.
One other option which is sometimes offered by IVF clinics present abroad after few unsuccessful attempts or miscarriages, which cannot be explained by the specialists, is using corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are steroid hormones that can either be made in the body or even in a lab.
Generally, corticosteroids are used to treat certain life threatening autoimmune diseases like lupus, severe kinds of allergies and for preventing the organ transplants from getting rejected. Certain serious side-effects are associated with corticosteroids, which include insomnia, infections, mood changes, heart problems, gain in weight and also headache.
At IVF Clinics, corticosteroids are given in order to meet the demands of people having fertility problems along with other doses to suppress immunity. All these are mainly driven by misunderstanding both on the part of a consumer as well as that of medical, on how the immune response actually works.
Immune system in case of pregnancy
Use of corticosteroids is not so safe or effective
The records put forward by the IVF clinics through those women, who have been pregnant by way of IVF, have created the false perception about the fact that corticosteroid drugs are safe and effective. The patient group had low chance of adverse effects from the use of this drug has ensured wide-scale use of corticosteroids, as they come up with no kind of immune disorder.
Still, there always remains a high chance of problems in pregnancy and a higher rate of foetal malformations for women, who take these drugs. Data suggests that among 311 women, who had used corticosteroid drugs for more than the first 3 months of IVF cycle, had gone on to show 64% increase in miscarriage.
In certain case of autoimmunity, some women might benefit from these drugs but in majority of women, these steroids cause more than any good.
If you are expecting a baby in the next couple of months and are worried about being overweight; don't fret, because you are not alone in the league. Half of the pregnant women across the world are overweight, if not obese. However, having to walk around with more weight than the recommended level is adversity for your pregnancy and can put you at high health risks. That is why you should consult your doctor and reduce those extra pounds right away.
There are certain health problems you can experience if you are overweight during your pregnancy term:
Are you aware of the connection between ovarian cysts and pregnancy? A woman’s ovaries produce eggs and sex hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone. Sometimes, a sac filled with fluid may develop on one of your ovaries. Ovarian cysts are common and are experienced by all women in their lifetime. Commonly, these cysts are painless, accompanied by no specific symptoms. As the cysts grow, symptoms such as swelling or bloating, painful bowel movements, painful sexual intercourse, and pelvic pain during menstrual periods are indicated. Other symptoms like breast tenderness, lower back and thigh pain, nausea and vomiting are also likely.
Link between ovarian cysts and pregnancy
Ovarian cysts are connected to pregnancy as they are associated with a woman’s fertility. Some ovarian cysts which can affect your fertility and hence pregnancy include the following:
• These are ovarian cysts, which are associated with complications in fertility and occur on account of endometriosis. This is a health condition in which the normal tissue lining around your uterus or the endometrium starts growing outside your uterus.
Ovarian cysts occurring because of polycystic ovary syndrome
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is featured by the development of several small cysts on the surface of your ovaries.
• Irregular menstrual periods and the increase in levels of certain hormones are indicated.
• This condition is associated with fertility. It results in irregular ovulation that causes complications in fertility in many women.
Ovarian cysts which only affect fertility after becoming large
There are some types of ovarian cysts, which do not affect fertility unless they become very large. They are as follows:
If you are diagnosed with ovarian cysts and are concerned whether they will affect your pregnancy, it is important for you to consult your doctor. You will be able to discuss the various treatment measures, which revive your pregnancy chances.
The placenta is a link between you and your baby during pregnancy. It helps your baby to grow normally by providing it with food and oxygen. When the placenta is not able to do its work properly, the condition is called placental insufficiency or dysfunction.
Placental insufficiency is a serious complication of pregnancy and can happen when the placenta does not develop properly or is damaged. If this condition develops, the baby doesn’t get the nutrition and oxygen it needs to grow and can develop complications like low birth weight, premature birth, and birth defects. The mother can also develop dangerous complications if it’s left undiagnosed. Thus placental insufficiency must be diagnosed as early into the pregnancy to avoid these complications.
Causes of placental insufficiency
Actually, placental insufficiency is a blood flow disorder which happens due to a reduction in the mother’s blood supply. It can be triggered by vascular disorders, medications, lifestyle and the following:
Other causes of placental insufficiency are cases where the placenta doesn’t attach properly to the uterine wall or if the placenta breaks away from it.
Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of this dangerous condition in the mother except that she may notice that the size of her uterus is smaller than in previous pregnancies. She may also notice that the fetus is moving less than before. As far as symptoms of placental abruption or disruption go, there may be vaginal bleeding or pre-term labour contractions. In case placental insufficiency is not diagnosed, the mother can experience a serious fatal condition called Preeclampsia, which means high BP and protein in the urine as well as disruption of the placenta and pre-term birth. The picture for the baby is pretty dim too. The earlier placental insufficiency happens, the more grave the risk for the baby. The baby can suffer from:
Placental insufficiency can’t be cured, but it can be managed. Once diagnosed, it can be managed through proper prenatal care like treating maternal high blood pressure or diabetes, education on preeclampsia and ways to self-monitor for the disease, frequent doctor visits, bed rest to conserve energy for the baby and consultation with a specialist. These can improve the baby’s chances of normal growth.
Proper prenatal care of pregnant women is thus, very important as it can diagnose placental insufficiency early. A simple ultrasound can diagnose this dangerous condition by measuring the baby's size and growth, and assessing the size and placement of the placenta.
Pregnant women are recommended more amount of water than normal people as it is needed for the placenta and amniotic fluid. They should drink about 8-10 glasses of water each day. But as it is well known that there is a requirement for nutrients so rather than only drinking water pregnant women can also consume green tea.
As it is well known that green tea is full of nutrients, therefore, 2 cups of green tea in a day can be consumed by pregnant women.
Here are the benefits of green tea during pregnancy:
Fluctuating blood pressure is one of the most common problems during pregnancy. Green tea is a source of antioxidants (polyphenols) that is useful in the prevention of cell damage. Hence, consuming green tea during pregnancy keeps blood under control.
Green tea also helps in controlling the level of sugar during pregnancy. It can modify the sugar levels and is also beneficial for gestational diabetes.
Drinking green tea boosts up the metabolism of the body which works for countering mood swings during pregnancy. Green tea contains theanine which provides relaxing effects and uplifts the mood.
There are many hormonal changes during pregnancy which can also lead to skin problems. Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties which can help in treating skin problems like redness, itching or swelling.
Green tea helps in stimulating T-cells present in the body which are important for improving immunity and also prepares the body for upcoming problems.
Drinking green tea regularly enhances the strength of bones and also promotes oral health.
Though all types of green tea can be consumed during pregnancy, few of them provide more health benefits if taken in an adequate amount:
Yes, green tea can be consumed during early pregnancy but it should not be overconsumed because overconsumption of green tea can create a hindrance in the absorption of folic acid. The mother should only drink up to 2 cups of green tea in a day because the lower level of folic acid can cause congenital disabilities in babies.
Though there are several benefits of green tea during the course of pregnancy. But there are a few points that should be kept in mind before you start consuming green tea:
If green tea is consumed in excessive amount then may cause a negative effect on the ability of red blood cells to absorb iron. It also hampers the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the baby.
The absorption of folic acid is inhibited by green tea which is an essential vitamin during the first trimester of pregnancy. Therefore green tea should not be consumed excessively if you are pregnant as it can cause neural tube defects in the baby.
During pregnancy, the body loses its ability to break down caffeine. Therefore if green tea is consumed in the high amount it can affect the sleeping pattern thus leading to heart issues and increased urination.
Green tea should not be taken with food as it can cause problems in digesting food during pregnancy.
Though an increase in the metabolic rate is good but during pregnancy metabolism of a woman is already high and overconsumption of green tea enhances it further. Increased metabolic rate is not good as it can cause physiological changes in the mother which is eventually not good for the baby.
Hence, green tea can be consumed during pregnancy but in a limited amount. But if you have any doubt then you can surely consult medical experts and know is green tea safe during pregnancy or not.
Homeopathy offers several remedies for many gynaecological disorders. Some of the gynaecological afflictions that homeopathy treats are post-partum depression, fertility issues, pregnancy problems, menopause, complications arising from prolapse, infections of the vagina, pre-menstrual syndrome, tendency to miscarriage and many others.
Why homeopathic treatment?
There are nil or very little side-effects during homeopathic treatment of the various gynaecological disorders. Unlike allopathic drugs which cannot be ingested freely, the homeopathic remedies can be taken without any fears regarding their side-effects. Further, these medicines are non -toxic.
Homeopathy is constitutional and not symptomatic in its treatment. Both the mother and child are positively impacted by this form of treatment which is holistic.
If you have a child already and he/she is suffering from a defect such as a cleft lip, then both the parents must undergo a homeopathic treatment before the mother conceives another child. This way, the second born will most likely be free from a cleft lip.
Let us see how homeopathy helps you cope with some of these afflictions.
While you are too busy running a rat-race, chasing education, career, and everything extravagant and lavish, you might be slowly slipping away on your chances of parenting a baby. Find that strange and wayward? Well, your fertility might have already started taking a dip. The chances of conception drop down to less than 10% as a woman approaches the mid-thirties and a man, mid-forties. This is because increasing age takes a toll on the quality and the number of eggs produced. Chromosomal problems accompanied by risk of miscarriages tend to bring down pregnancy rates. So much so, that a child, born to older parents, might have higher risks of suffering from learning difficulties, psychological disorders and even autism. Not only age but one’s innate lifestyle habits and practices can also be a few reasons behind infertility.
Age and Fertility: Women’s fertility starts to decline when women are in their early 30s (and the decline speeds up post-35). Men’s fertility starts to decline at 45 years of age. As well as declining fertility, there is an increased risk of pregnancy complications for older mothers and with older fathers, an increased risk of the child having autism spectrum disorders, mental health disorders and learning difficulties.
Weight and Fertility: Obesity, owing to a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet, can cause and aggravate hormonal irregularities in both the genders. For men, these imbalances result in coital problems and dip in the sperm count, while for women, they pose threats such as miscarriages, risks of a still-born child and other pregnancy complications. Women who are obese and smoke are more than twice as likely as healthy weight women to have a baby with congenital heart disease.
The Appropriate Timing: If you fail to keep a track of the most fertile period of your menstrual cycle based on the days you ovulate, you might miss out on a good chance of getting pregnant. Pregnancy is technically possible during the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. The likelihood of actually becoming pregnant, though, is dramatically increased if you have intercourse in the three days leading up to and including ovulation.
Stress: In today’s times, some amount of stress is unavoidable. However, being subject to constantly high levels of stress on a daily basis ups the secretion of the stress hormone, ‘cortisol’; that eventually takes a toll on one’s libido, thus wreaking havoc on one’s chances and aspirations of parenting a child. Also, what too much stress does is that it mars personal relationships, thus further increasing one’s woes.
Pollutants: With rapid urbanization and unchecked industrialization, the world you live in was never more polluted than now. Such increased and consistent exposure to pollution makes one all the more vulnerable to infertility.
Hypertension during pregnancy can be a problem for both the baby and the mother. Thus it is of utmost importance that during pregnancy a good health should be maintained along with controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels. With an increase in multiple births and women of older age, the risk of hypertension during pregnancy has increased. But if proper care is taken it can be avoided.
Types of Pregnancy Hypertension:
There are three prominent forms of hypertension that can be seen during pregnancy. Pregnant ladies should be aware of the same. These are:
- Preeclampsia - This is the most common and serious hypertension during pregnancy. This hypertension can only be controlled by delivering the fetus which usually involves complications like the death of the mother or child. This occurs 20 weeks after pregnancy.
- Chronic Hypertension - This form forms either prior to the pregnancy or before 20 weeks of the pregnancy.
Management of Pregnancy Hypertension:
Hypertension during pregnancy can be handled by the following:
- In case of severe hypertension, blood pressure medication should be continued during pregnancy
- If you are on ACE inhibitor-type medication, then the medication is changed to one that is even safe for the baby
- Your doctor might like to monitor you daily and can advise hospitalization for a few days
- If medication is missed, it might lead to uncontrolled life-threatening hypertension. Thus the medication should not be missed at any time
- In the case of mild hypertension and absence of other diseases like diabetes and kidney disorders, the doctor might stop the medication or reduce the dose. Also, being off medicine does not cause any problem in mild hypertension.
- Irrespective of the hypertension is mild or severe, the prenatal appointments should not be missed so that the doctor can monitor you and the baby. If any problems, like rising blood pressure, poor fetal growth, and signs of preeclampsia can be spotted and steps can be taken for the same.
- In case there is some form of hypertension present the prenatal visits and lab tests will be more
- Also, regular fetal tests and Doppler ultrasounds will be done to track the baby's growth.
- Lifestyle changes should be made. Salt intake should be limited, fresh food instead of processed food should be consumed.
- If blood pressure is high then doctor might ask you to avoid exercise especially if you never did before pregnancy.
During pregnancy, flu (influenza) can impose serious health implications for both the mother and the child. Due to pregnancy, the risk of developing complications like pneumonia are very high, which can pose a problem during childbirth. Miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth are some of the major issues, which might develop if the mother has suffered from flu during her pregnancy. Although flu vaccination during pregnancy has certain risks, it has been observed that in most cases the benefits of inactivated influenza vaccine outweigh the risks. However, Live attenuated influenza vaccine is not recommended at all during pregnancy.
Recommendations across the world suggest that prevention of influenza by administration of inactivated influenza vaccine is the best intervention in pregnancy. The vaccine for Flu should be administered before the onset of flu season. RANZCOG, NHS UK, RCOG, FOGSI recommends inactivated flu vaccine for all the pregnant women unless there are any contraindications.
Taking the inactivated influenza vaccine can be beneficial in multiple ways:
1. Prevents maternal complications: During pregnancy, the heart and lungs go through extra stress. Pregnancy can also severely impact your immune system. Opting for an inactivated flu vaccine can decrease significantly, the chance of falling severely ill due to flu.
2. Prevents pregnancy problems due to flu: Getting infected by flu during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage during childbirth. Administering inactivated flu shots can prevent miscarriage as well as premature birth and low birth weight.
3. Protects the baby after birth: Infants have a huge risk of getting infected with flu after birth. But as vaccines cannot be administered to them until they are 6 months old, it is the best recourse to opt for inactivated flu shots during pregnancy as the antibodies pass onto the child from the mother via placenta. The child can hence be protected from such diseases.
Often, one fear about the vaccine, is the development of Gullain Barre syndrome. This is very rare and the risk of GBS are higher following an influenza-like illness. Also, if the patient is allergic to eggs they are advised to consult a physician. Flu vaccines have traces of egg protein in it. Certain precautions are taken after studying the patient's medical history. The doctor may keep the patient under observation. Or in certain instances, the physician might suggest alternative flu vaccine, which do not contain egg protein. Physicians decide it after studying any prior allergic reaction.
As per the WHO SAGE position paper, from 1990 to 2009 the vaccine adverse event reporting system database in USA reported only 20 serious adverse events following administration of trivalent influenza vaccine to an estimated 11.8 million pregnant women.
Prenatal Diagnosis is the diagnosis of the fetus or unborn baby. By prenatal diagnosis, doctors examine the developing baby. There are two main methods for prenatal diagnosis, Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), and Amniocentesis. However, the prenatal diagnosis consists of several tests which help doctors to find out the genetic disorder of the fetus.
According to many studies, some parents are at higher risk of having a baby with a genetic problem or disorder. Due to this reason, it is advisable to diagnose a baby before birth so that parents can be aware of the problem and manage it efficiently. These diagnostic tests will help parents to take better decisions for the health of their baby.
Prenatal diagnosis is also necessary as there are problems which can be treated before the birth of the baby. However, other problems need immediate attention after the delivery.
Benefits of Prenatal Diagnosis -
Prenatal Diagnosis is beneficial for:
Managing the duration of the pregnancy
Preparing for possible difficulties during pregnancy or with the birth process
Determining the consequence of the difficult pregnancy
Planning for diseases/problems/disorders that may occur in the infant
Detecting conditions that may influence future pregnancies
Determining whether to continue the pregnancy
Test for Prenatal Diagnosis -
Chorionic villus sampling
Maternal serum beta-HCG
Fetal blood cells in maternal blood
Pregnancy-associated plasma protein A
Maternal serum unconjugated estriol
Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein
What is Amniocentesis?
Amniocentesis is an invasive method and usually performed during 14 and 20 weeks of the pregnancy. In this procedure, a needle is inserted into the amniotic cavity of the uterus through the lower abdomen. Before performing Amniocentesis, an ultrasound is done to determine the gestational age, see if there is sufficient amniotic fluid present, and check the location of the placenta and fetus. With the help of injection, doctors withdraw a small amount of amniotic fluid and send it in the laboratory to test:
Signs for lung development
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) -
Chorionic Villus Sampling or CVS is one of the methods in the Prenatal diagnosis process in which a catheter is inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix. It is done to withdraw the placental chorionic villi cells. After that, the cells examined and analyzed by different techniques. CVS usually performed during the 9.5 to 12.5 weeks of pregnancy. Generally, the cells withdraw in CVS is for chromosome analysis to find out the karyotype of the fetus.
Techniques Used for Pathologic Examination
These are some of the techniques used in the pathology to determine the problems and issues of the fetus:
Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization (FISH)
Electron Microscopy (EM)
Take Away -
Prenatal diagnosis is very important as it gives an idea about the pregnancy complications and future complication that a child may suffer. This also helps in curing and treating the problems during fetal development.