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Vaginal infections durng pregnancy

Pregnancy is the time when your body undergoes significant hormonal changes. Due to these changes, women often find their immunity levels dipping, making them susceptible to an array of infections. Infections in the vaginal region such as the yeast infections, Trichomoniasis, and Bacterial Vaginosis are a common occurrence during pregnancy. However, one may encounter other kinds of vaginal infections as well. If left untreated they may harm the foetus too. Therefore, it is best to stay well informed about the causes and symptoms of the different vaginal infections during pregnancy in order to identify and treat them at the earliest. Vaginal Infections To Watch Out For During Pregnancy #1. Bacterial Vaginosis One of the most common vaginal infections during pregnancy, Bacterial Vaginosis or BV is seen in every one out of five pregnant women. Cause: BV is caused when the vagina’s naturally existing bacteria start multiplying excessively due to hormonal imbalances, leading to unpleasant symptoms. Symptoms: Pain and burning sensation during urination Inflammation, irritation, and itchiness inside and around the vagina Thin, watery, greyish white vaginal discharge, which has a very foul odour Diagnosis: Your doctor, through a pelvic examination, can diagnose BV. She may take a swab sample of the discharge to observe it microscopically and even send it to the lab for a vaginal culture for further confirmation. Treatment: Antibiotics are a good line of treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis. Your doctor will prescribe you a dosage safe for use during pregnancy. However, if you are in your first trimester, she may avoid giving any medication at all. Points to remember: If detected early BV may go away on its own without medication. However, if left untreated for long it may lead to serious problems such as – low birth weight of the baby, preterm delivery, pelvic inflammatory disease in the mother, eventual damage to the fallopian tubes, increase in risk of contacting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and even infertility. What you can do: In order to prevent BV during pregnancy you must – Drink at least 2-3 liters of water daily Keep your vagina clean and dry to prevent bacterial build-up Do not use bath oils or thick applications in the vaginal region. These may block pores and lead to infections. Maintain good hygiene and wash yourself dry twice or thrice a day Wear cotton undergarments and change your underpants twice a day to prevent the area from being sweaty. Wear loose pants and avoid tights to prevent sweat buildup. Sleep without your underpants to prevent infections. Adopt safe sex practices and avoid having intercourse with multiple partners during your pregnancy. While using toilet paper, wipe from front to back to avoid infections from anal bacteria to spread to the vagina. Avoid frequently douching the vagina in an attempt o clean it. This may worsen the infection. #2. Yeast Infection A yeast infection is commonly seen during the second trimester of pregnancy. It features an overgrowth of the naturally existing vaginal fungus – Candida. Causes: A spike in the levels of progesterone and estrogen in your body cause yeast infections during pregnancy. This hormonal imbalance disrupts your vaginal pH, thus, causing fungal infections. An antibiotic or steroid treatment during pregnancy may also cause a yeast infection. Some other causes include – excessive douching, having intercourse, having STD, or diabetes.   Symptoms: Burning pain while passing urine or during intercourse Appearance of whitish brown discharge from the vagina that looks like cottage cheese. Yeast like foul smell from discharge Inflammation, irritation, and redness in the labia and vulva. Diagnosis: Your doctor can easily diagnose a yeast infection upon a vaginal examination. To further confirm the possibility she may take a swab sample of the discharge and check it under the microscope or send it to a lab for further testing and conclusive results. Treatment: A yeast infection can be treated using an anti-fungal cream prescribed by your doctor. The cream must be applied to the infected area as suggested on a regular basis. You may alternatively be prescribed an oral anti-fungal medication or an ovule to insert in the vagina.  Points to remember: If undetected or untreated yeast infections get transferred to the baby at the time of delivery. They infect the baby’s mouth in the form of an oral condition called thrush. What you can do: In addition to the above mentioned tips you must - Reduce your intake of sugar as it is inflammatory and may worsen the fungal infection. Add complex carbohydrates to your diet to improve your digestion and immunity. Eat yogurt. It is probiotic and helps improve the gut and vaginal pH. #3. Trichomoniasis This vaginal infection results from a parasitic protozoan microbe known as the Trichomonas vaginalis. Causes: A pregnant woman may contact this infection from a sexual encounter with an infected partner. The disease also spreads through infected pool water, towels, or toilet seats. Symptoms: Yellow/white/clear discharge from the vagina Fish-like foul smelling discharge Redness, inflammation, and irritation in the vaginal area Pain while passing urine Diagnosis: Besides identifying the evident symptoms, your doctor can diagnose Trichomoniasis by taking a swab sample of the vaginal discharge. This can either be studied under the microscope to visually identify the parasite or can be sent for a lab culture to get a confirmed result. Alternatively, a urine test may also reveal Trichomoniasis infection. Treatment: Trichomoniasis is treated with a course of oral antibiotics. Make sure to take only prescribed drugs in recommended dosage only so that your baby is not harmed by the medication. Points to remember: If detected and treated timely the Trichomoniasis infection can be completely cured. It is one of the most easily curable vaginal infections. What you can do: In addition to the above mentioned precautions related to proper hygiene and safe sex practices, one must avoid using swimming pools, shared bath towels, and public toilets during pregnancy.

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Tips To Improve Sleep During Second Trimester

Although most women feel a lot better during the second trimester with the decrease in nausea and fatigue, you may suffer from a few minor sleep issues. These include cramps in the legs, sleep apnea, snoring, congestion, indigestion, heartburn, vivid dreams, and restless leg syndrome.   While it is not necessary that you may experience sleep problems during the second trimester, here are some tips to help you sleep better at this time. Have a set bedtime: Make sure that you go to bed at the same time each day. Not only will it help to rejuvenate your body but it will also help your baby to grow. Avoid Watching TV Right Before Sleep: Studies have found that such habits tend to interfere with sleep schedules and make you more likely to be affected by sleeping problems, especially insomnia. Avoid Spicy Foods: Eating spicy food at night can increase the chances of getting a heartburn. Heartburn and acidity can affect your sleep. You may sip a cup of herbal tea or warm milk before going to bed. Relax Before Sleeping: Relax yourself before you go to sleep. You can listen to some soothing music, try relaxation techniques or take a warm bath. This will help your body relax and get you a sound sleep. Eat a Light Dinner: Consuming a light meal at night is the key to a good night’s sleep. Pregnant women should always avoid fatty and fried foods at night and never overeat. Sleep on a Clean Bed: Research has shown that sleeping on a clean bed helps to improve the quality of one’s sleep and makes it easier to doze off. Ensure that your bed is neat and comfortable and your room is free of clutter.   Featured Image Source

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Fertility test for women

If you and your partner are trying to have a baby but haven't been able to, you may start to wonder if you should get fertility tests. Experts say it's time to check with a doctor if you've had regular sex without birth control for 12 months if you are under the age of 35 and for 6 months if you are over 35. It's important for the two of you to go for testing together. When you see your doctor, he'll probably start by asking questions about your health and lifestyle. He'll want to know things about you and your partner like: Medical history, including any long-term conditions or surgeries Medicines you take Whether you smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, eat or drink things with caffeine, or use illicit drugs If you had contact with chemicals, toxins, or radiation at home or work He'll also want to know about your sex life, such as: How often you have sex Your history of birth control use If you've had sexually transmitted diseases Any problems having sex Whether either of you had sex outside the relationship Your doctor will also have questions about things connected with your periods, such as: Have you been pregnant before? How often have you had periods over the last year? Have you had irregular and missed periods or had spotting between periods? Did you have any changes in blood flow or the appearance of large blood clots? What methods of birth control have you used? Have you ever seen a doctor for infertility, and did you get any treatment? Infertility Tests for Women There is no single best test for infertility. Doctors use a variety of ways to identify any problems that might help cause fertility trouble. You may get a Pap smear. It can detect cervical cancer, other problems with the cervix, or sexually transmitted diseases. Any of these can interfere with getting pregnant. To get pregnant, you need to release an egg each month -- called "ovulation." You may need tests that check for that. Your doctor may ask you to take a urine test at home for luteinizing hormone, or LH. This hormone shows up in high levels just before you ovulate. Your doctor also may check levels of the hormone progesterone in your blood. Increases in progesterone show that you are ovulating. On your own, you can check your body temperature each morning. Basal body temperature rises a bit just after ovulation. By checking it each morning, you'll learn your pattern of ovulation over several months. Your doctor may also run tests on your thyroid, or check for other hormonal problems, to rule out conditions that might cause missed or irregular ovulation. Tests of Reproductive Organs Before you can get pregnant, your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries all need to work right. Your doctor may suggest different procedures that can check the health of these organs: Hysterosalpingogram (HSG). Also called a "tubogram," this is a series of X-rays of your fallopian tubes and uterus. The X-rays are taken after your doctor injects liquid dye through the vagina. Another method uses saline and air instead of dye and an ultrasound. The HSG can help you learn if your fallopian tubes are blocked or if you have any defects of your uterus. The test is usually done just after your menstrual period. Transvaginal ultrasound. A doctor places an ultrasound "wand" into the vagina and brings it close to the pelvic organs. Using sound waves, he'll be able to see images of the ovaries and uterus to check for problems there. Hysteroscopy. Your doctor puts a thin, flexible tube -- with a camera on the end -- through the cervix and into the uterus. He can see problems there and take tissue samples if needed. Laparoscopy. Your doctor makes small cuts in your belly and inserts tools, including a camera. This surgery can check your entire pelvis and potentially correct problems, such as endometriosis, a disease that affects the uterus. Other Infertility Tests A doctor may order other tests to check for fertility problems. You may get a blood test to check your levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH, which triggers your ovaries to prepare an egg for release each month. High FSH can mean lower fertility in women. The FSH blood levels get checked early in your menstrual cycle (often on day 3). Clomiphene citrate challenge testing can be done with the FSH test. You take a pill of clomiphene citrate on the fifth through ninth days of your menstrual cycle. FSH gets checked on day 3 (before you take the medicine) and on day 10 (after). High FSH levels suggest you have lower chances of getting pregnant. Your doctor may also suggest a blood test to check for a hormone called inhibin B. Levels may be lower in women with fertility problems, but experts are divided about whether the test can predict infertility. Take this assessment to find out if there are other health care providers who can help with your symptoms. Another exam is called postcoital testing. Your doctor examines your cervical mucus after you've had sex. Some studies suggest it may not be so useful. Your doctor may also recommend an endometrial biopsy. In this procedure, he takes a sample of tissue from the lining of your uterus. But evidence is mounting that endometrial biopsy is not helpful in predicting or treating infertility. You may not need to have all these tests. Your doctor can discuss with you which ones are best in your situation. After the testing is done, about 85% of couples will have some idea about why they're having trouble getting pregnant. content source

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6 Tips to overcome fear of pregnancy

Fear is common when you are growing another life inside you. Most women who are pregnant for the first time tend to fear about labour, childbirth and parenting. Even during pregnancy, women are constantly feared about caring for the baby inside the womb.  Most of your fears are quite common based on pregnancy misconceptions and you are not alone as most soon-to-be mothers have fears about pregnancy. How to handle these fears? Some of the common fears include accidently rolling over the tummy while sleeping, lose the baby, premature birth, careless food habits affecting the baby’s development, failed to lose the excess body weight, painful labour, childbirth complications or even the fear of having a baby. Remember, these are normal and you are not the only one having these fears, so relax and do not feel guilty about it. Learn more about pregnancy, labour and childbirth from physicians, childbirth educators, pregnancy books, antenatal classes and authentic pregnancy website. Having complete knowledge about pregnancy itself, will give you all the confidence you need to go through your delivery without fear and stress. Try a mind relaxing activity like meditation, yoga, workouts or reading. This will help you prepare your body as well as mind to face pregnancy and labour. It will also keep your stress and anxiety at bay. Do not feel guilty and suppress the pregnancy fear within yourself. Talk to your spouse, parents and gynecologist. This will help you get the support you require to get through hard times and relieve you from stress and anxiety. Tokophobia is the morbid fear of pregnancy and childbirth, experienced by 1 in 6 women. The fear grows from nervousness to panic and full blown anxiety that leads pregnant women to do extreme measures. It is important to consult a therapist or a counselor to get relieved from the fear and get over it. Imagine your baby and the good times you’re going to have with your little bundle of joy. Plan for a babymoon with your spouse or a relaxing vacation with your family or friends. Do not stress about labour and delivery as there are many medical interventions that will help you have a better childbirth experience. content source

Tips to overcome anxiety during pregnancy

Well-meaning friends may have told you that you need to stop worrying because it isn’t good for the baby. While their sentiment comes from a good place, you may feel like stopping the cycle is easier said than done. Still, research shows that there is good reason to get your anxiety under control. High levels of anxiety during pregnancy are associated with a risk of developing conditions like preeclampsia, premature birth, and low birth weight.  Tips for coping anxiety in pregnancy   1. Talk about it If you’re feeling very anxious during your pregnancy, it’s important to tell someone. Your partner, a close friend, or family member may be able to offer support. Simply sharing your thoughts and feelings may be enough to keep them from taking over your everyday life. You may also ask your doctor to refer you to a therapist who is trained to help with anxiety. Some therapists specialize in helping pregnant women. 2. Find a release Engaging in activities that help to lower stress and anxiety may be a good option for you. Physical activity helps your body release endorphins. These act like natural painkillers in your brain. Moving your body is one of the most recommended ways to manage stress. Effective activities include: walking running yoga Don’t like to stroll, jog, or strike a pose? Do what you love! Anything that gets your body moving can help. Aerobic activity for as short as five minutes has been shown to have positive benefits. Always speak with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine during pregnancy. 3. Move your mind You can try activities that help your body release endorphins without working up a sweat, including: meditation acupuncture massage therapy deep breathing exercises The American Institute of Stress recommends deep abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutesper day to help with anxiety. Doing so will help provide more oxygen to your brain and stimulate your nervous system. To try it, get in a comfortable seated position and close your eyes. Imagine yourself smiling inwardly and release tension in your muscles. Then visualize that there are holes in your feet. Breathe in and imagine the air circulating through your body. Exhale and repeat. 4. Rest up It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Though sleep may seem elusive during pregnancy, making it a priority may help significantly with your anxiety symptoms. Do you wake up often at night? Try sneaking in a nap whenever you feel the urge. 5. Write about it Sometimes you may not feel like talking. All those thoughts need someplace to go. Try starting a journal where you can let out your feelings without fear of judgment. You may find that writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you organize or prioritize your worries. You can track different triggers to share with your doctor, too. 6. Empower yourself Tokophobia is the fear of childbirth. If your anxiety is tied to childbirth itself, consider signing up for a birth class. Learning about the different stages of labor, what your body does, and what to expect at each turn may help demystify the process. These classes often offer suggestions for dealing with pain. They’ll also give you an opportunity to chat with other mothers who may be worried about similar things. 7. Ask your doctor If your anxiety is affecting your daily life or you’re having frequent panic attacks, call your doctor. The sooner you get help, the better. Beyond referral to a therapist, there may be medications you can take to ease your most severe symptoms. You should never feel embarrassed about sharing your thoughts and feelings, especially if they concern you. content source

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