Expectant mothers have been advised for years that sleeping on the left side of their body during pregnancy is best for the baby. Sleeping on the back, called the supine position, was particularly discouraged. Failure to follow this recommendation came with warnings of increased risk of stillbirth, underweight newborns, and gestational hypertension in the mother.
Notes on Women's Health
Facts about polycystic syndrome and how it can affect pregnancy
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder, with 10% of women experiencing PCOS in their childbearing years according to the Office on Women’s Health. The syndrome causes several symptoms, which range from annoying to health-threatening. PCOS is also associated with trouble becoming pregnant as well as complications during pregnancy.
Below, you’ll find information about PCOS symptoms, causes, and working with your OB-GYN to reduce health effects and increase your chances of conception.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are one of the most effective forms of contraception from which a woman can choose. In fact, other than tubal ligation (having your tubes tied), there is not a more effective female birth control method than an IUD. In addition, an IUD can provide you with benefits, such as reversibility, long-term effectiveness, fewer side effects than other birth control methods and affordability. However, IUDs do not protect against sexually-transmitted diseases, and the devices can cause complications in very rare cases.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be a health risk for anyone. However, this condition is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn children. There is an even greater danger if gestational hypertension becomes a condition called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is defined as maternal high blood pressure during pregnancy accompanied by signs of organ damage. Not only is preeclampsia a chief cause of preterm births, but this problem can eventually progress to eclampsia, which often results in seizures, coma, and even death.
Once you have given birth, your baby’s body is not as intricately linked to yours as it was during the nine months of your pregnancy, although if you choose to breastfeed, you continue to nurture that physical bond between you and your child. Just like when you were pregnant, with this bond comes the understanding that what you put into your body finds its way to your baby through your breast milk.
There are several important breast cancer risk factors among women, such as age, family history of breast cancer and reproductive history, but breast density is one risk factor that has not received extensive attention from the media. In this article, I explain breast density, how to find out if you have dense breasts, and what breast density means for your health.
Your annual well-woman examination from your OB-GYN is an assessment of your reproductive health as well as the condition of your genitourinary system (the reproductive system and the urinary organs), and for adult women under the age of 65, will routinely include a pelvic exam and Pap smear. Many women mistakenly think that a Pap smear checks for multiple sexually transmitted infections (STI), also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STD), but in reality, this is not the case. In fact, STI testing is not a standard part of an annual well-woman examination.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, during pregnancy is not an uncommon issue. Between 5.8 and 8.3% of women age 20 to 44 experience hypertension while pregnant, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, this percentage is growing, mostly due to the continued obesity epidemic in the United States.
Over 11,000 American women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. The average age at diagnosis is in the early forties, so a significant portion of cervical cancer patients is still in their child-bearing years. Additionally, since many women are now waiting well into their thirties before becoming pregnant, fertility preservation has become a major concern for many who are facing cervical cancer.
Feeling warm from the hot summer weather is to be expected, but for certain women, hot flashes may be a sign that they are perimenopausal, the medical term for approaching menopause. In this article, we will cover common perimenopausal symptoms, demystify facts from fiction, and provide tips for effectively handling this stage of life.