It is often a topic of debate but the fact is that breastfeeding is the best nutritional option for your baby. While commercial milk formula is an excellent option for feeding your baby, no product can replace breast milk. As more women choose to breastfeed, the question plaguing every mother’s mind is what they should and should not be doing. You have already taken the first right step by opting to breastfeed if you can and while much of what you need to do should come naturally to you, it never hurts to get advice from a medical doctor, lactation consultation or even other experienced mothers.
Women’s Health and Pregnancy's Articles Archives
As exciting as pregnancy is, it is also taxing on the mother’s body. The host of hormone changes and alterations in body weight and size coupled with the oxygen and nutritional demands of the growing fetus places significant stress on the system thereby causing a range of symptoms and discomfort. Living with these ever-increasing changes for 40 weeks can be frustrating and make pregnancy into a dreadful experience for some women who tend to suffer with pregnancy-related symptoms to a greater degree than other women. Most of these changes are considered normal for the physiological state of pregnancy but this should not detract from the fact that it is unpleasant for the mother.
Lower back pain in pregnancy is very common. It is often accepted as a normal part of pregnancy but this is no reason for women to suffer with the condition. Although several anti-inflammatory drugs may help with pain relief and can be safely used during pregnancy, most pregnant women would prefer to stay away from medication. However, there are many other simple ways that pregnant women can relieve lower back pain without opting for the chemical route.
It is important to first understand why lower back pain is so common during pregnancy. Some of the causes can in fact be avoided with just simple lifestyle changes.
Pregnancy is usually an exciting event in a woman’s life but it is definitely not one of the easiest times. The body undergoes a host of changes to cater for the growing fetus and prepare for childbirth as well nursing thereafter. Although many women have a healthy and disease-free pregnancy, there are a host of conditions that can arise during this time. One of the common complications associated with pregnancy is gestational diabetes. It is condition where the body’s ability to regulate the blood glucose levels is impaired. There are several implications for both mother and baby, and pregnancy diabetes should not be taken lightly.
What does ovulate mean?
Ovulation is a process where one of the ovaries releases an egg cell (ovum) into the fallopian tube. Ovulate is therefore the action of the ovary in releasing the ovum from the ovary. If a woman is to fall pregnant, she has to ovulate prior to unprotected intercourse. The sperm cells from the male then travel to the egg cell and fertilize it. Pregnancy has then occurred. As simple as this may seem, the process is quite complex. In order to ovulate, there are a host of other factors that need to be carefully coordinated. Ovulation is a single event in the menstrual cycle. It marks the end of the first phase and start of the second phase of the menstrual cycle.
Meigs syndrome is a triad of medical conditions where there is a benign ovarian tumor (specifically an ovarian fibroma) with ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity) and pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs in the pleural space). Once the tumor is removed, both ascites and pleural effusion resolves. The exact reason why fluid accumulation occurs in the abdomen and around the lung with a benign ovarian tumor is not fully understood although there are several theories. It tends to occur with an ovarian fibroma but is sometimes seen with other types of benign ovarian tumors and even malignancies. Overall Meigs syndrome is uncommon affecting only 1 out of 100 women with an ovarian tumor. When present, ascites is more commonly seen without a pleural effusion.
What is premature ovarian failure?
Premature ovarian failure is a condition where the ovaries cease functioning to the same degree as it would in the reproductive years of life. This decline in ovarian function is seen in lower than normal female sex hormone levels, disruption in the menstrual cycle and difficulty in falling pregnant. It is essentially the same process that is seen in menopause but for it to be considered premature, it has to occur before 40 years of age. Therefore the condition is also known as premature menopause or early menopause.
What is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome?
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is an iatrogenic complication, which means it results from treatment-based stimulation of ovaries. This rare condition develops in women undergoing infertility treatments. OHSS may occur after gonadotropin therapy, which is a common type of treatment for infertility. The therapy may lead to the development of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome approximately 1 to 2 weeks after assisted ovulation or egg retrieval. Ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome is marked by presence of multiple ovarian cysts leading to enlargement of ovaries. This is in keeping with overactivity of the ovaries but in OHSS it is a result of the treatment.
What is pelvic organ prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse refers to the condition characterized by an abnormal descent of female pelvic organs (the bladder, uterus, the small bowel and large bowel), due to which vagina and/or uterus protrude. A prolapse or slipping out of these organs from their normal anatomical position occurs with weakening of the tissues (muscles and ligaments) that normally hold up the pelvic organs in women. Vaginal child birth, advancing age, removal of uterus, or obesity may result in a prolapse.
The concern about the possibility of a prolapse later in life is one of the several reasons why some women opt for elective cesarean section (C-section) during childbirth. Many women, who have undergone childbirth, may have some degree of prolapse. However, most of the prolapses do not present with significant symptoms that compels a person to seek treatment.
What is Luteinizing Hormone Deficiency?
A deficiency of luteinizing hormone has pronounced effects on human reproduction. In order to understand the consequences of a deficiency of luteinizing hormone, it is important to first understand the effect of this hormone in the human body. Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a hormone produced by pituitary gland. Luteinizing hormone is important for reproduction in both males and females. In women, luteinizing hormone maintains the menstrual cycle and ovulation (release of an egg cell from the ovary). In men, luteinizing hormone stimulates the production of another hormone called testosterone. Testosterone is important for sperm production.
Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding Definition
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) refers to irregular and unpredictable bleeding from the uterus. Though dysfunctional uterine bleeding is not serious in most cases, it can be severely affect a woman’s quality of life and lead to anemia if the bleeding is frequent. In the majority of patients, dysfunctional uterine bleeding results from changes in hormone levels. It occurs in the absence of other medical conditions, like miscarriage, cancer, fibroids, or blood clotting problems. Dysfunctional uterine bleeding can be light or excessively heavy, prolonged, recurrent, or unpredictable. This condition mainly affects adolescents and women undergoing menopause.
Macrosomia is the medical term for a baby that has a significantly higher birth weight than the average for newborns. The term is also known by the common term big baby syndrome. The other common term that overlaps with macrosomia is large for gestational age. Macrosomia is usually defined as a birth weight of more than 8 pounds 13 ounces (4 kilograms). It may also be defined by the gestational age which in turn is influenced partly by the gender of the newborn and ethnicity. Since male newborn babies are typically larger and heavier than females, macrosomia is more likely in male newborns. Overall, macrosomic babies are significantly larger compared to average infants.
Introduction to Self Breast Exam
Regular breast self-examination for women is often recommended by physicians as a means of checking for signs of breast cancer. Mammography is the most effective way of detecting breast cancer, but along with clinical breast examination by your doctor, a self breast exam is important in detecting any signs of abnormality and seeking medical attention. A home breast examination also makes a women more aware of her breasts, particularly the look and feel of the healthy breast, which will further aid in the early detection of any abnormality.
If you have decided to conduct regular self examination of your breasts, it is advisable to first speak to your doctor or gynecologist to learn how to do it properly and what to look for. For women older than 40 years of age, a self breast exam should not replace a clinical examination by a doctor and a mammography, both of which should conducted on a regular basis.
What is the uterine round ligament?
There are several ligaments in the body known as the round ligament. With regard to the female reproductive system, there are two round ligaments on either side of the upper corners of the uterus. It is therefore more correctly referred to as the round ligament of the uterus or ligamentum teres uteri.
The round ligament of the uterus is a flattened band that runs from the upper corners of the uterus through the inguinal canal and to the labia majora. There is a round ligament on either side of the uterus. It is contained within a fold of peritoneum along with other structures like the fallopian tubes which are collectively referred to as the broad ligament. The round ligaments are between 10 to 12 centimeters in length. It composed of muscle tissue which is continuous with the muscular layer of the uterus, some fibrous tissue, loose connective tissue, nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics.
The breasts are modified skin appendages on the chest wall. It is more prominent in post-pubertal females (after puberty) although some young boys and men may experience larger than usual breast size for various medical reasons (gynecomastia). Fat lobules within the breast largely account for its size although during pregnancy and when breastfeeding, the female breast increases further in size due to additional fat accumulation, enlargement of the milk-producing apparatus and milk stored within the breast. The size of the female breasts is determined by several factors, the most prominent of which are genetic factors and the quantity of circulating female hormones. These factors can alter the quantity of fat lobules and size of the milk-producing apparatus.
Period pain is not always an indication of any underlying disorder, either with the reproductive organs or related systems. It may affect 50% of menstruating women with or without any other associated disturbance of the menstrual cycle, ovulation or menstruation. However, when it does occur, it can in some cases be debilitating and severely impair a woman’s ability to function on a daily basis. For the large majority of women suffering with period pain, it is mild, lasts 1 to 2 days at most and can often be managed without medication. At most, these women may need to temporarily use pain relieving medication. Some women, however, experience severe period pain and more rigorous treatment is necessary in these cases.
Period pain can present with other symptoms that may or may not be a consequence of the pain itself. In these cases, the appropriate treatment may be necessary for symptomatic relief. However, persistent pain that tends to last longer than 3 days, which may become progressively worse over time and be associated with other symptoms particularly menstrual disturbances should always be investigated further. This type of period pain may be known as secondary dysmenorrhea and may be the consequence of some underlying disease particularly gynecological disorders. Most women, however, have primary dysmenorrhea which is period pain that occurs without any underlying pelvic pathology.
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