Health And Pregnancy

  •  30/03/2017

  •  Dr. P.S.Sudhakar, Chinna Waltair, Visakhapatnam

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Pregnancy Overview:

Pregnancy changes your body, your emotions, and your life. Here's everything you need to know about having a baby, from tips to help you conceive to what to expect during labour.

Knowing your menstrual cycle improves your chances of getting pregnant. The first phase starts with the first day of your period or blood flow. Your body releases hormones that makes the eggs inside your ovaries grow. Between day 2 and 14, those hormones also help thicken the lining of your uterus to get ready for a fertilized egg. This is called the follicular stage.

What Happens During Ovulation:

The average menstrual cycle is 28-32 days. Ovulation usually happens between day 11 and 21 of your cycle. A hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH) surges, triggering the release of the egg that's most ripe. At the same time, your cervical mucus becomes more slippery to help sperm make their way to the egg.

Women are born with about 1-2 million eggs, but only release 300 to 400 through ovulation. Usually, you release just one egg each month. The egg travels down a fallopian tube, one of the two tubes that connect your ovaries to your uterus.If the timing is right, sperm may fertilize it on its way to the uterus. If fertilization doesn't happen within 24 hours of the egg leaving the ovary, the egg dissolves. Sperm can live for about 3 to 5 days, so knowing when you are ovulating can help you and your partner plan sex for when you're most likely to conceive. 

A surge in LH triggers your ovaries to release the egg. The surge usually happens36 hours before the egg is released. Ovulation kits check LH levels in your urine to help you pinpoint the day of ovulation. These kits, which are available at drugstores, are convenient and highly accurate. You may want to test 1-2 days before you expect the surge so you can note the rise in LH.

During the second half of your menstrual cycle, the hormone progesterone kicks in to help prepare the lining of your uterus for a fertilized egg. If the egg isn't fertilized and doesn't implant, it disintegrates, progesterone levels fall, and about 12 to 16 days later, the egg -- along with blood and tissues from the lining of the uterus -- is shed from the body. That process is menstruation. It usually lasts 3 to 7 days. Then the cycle begins again.

There is growing evidence that links environment to fertility. If you want to boost your chances of getting pregnant, you may want to:

·        Eat foods rich in folic acids.

·        Buy more organic foods and green products.

·        Avoid certain plastics (including plastic wrap).

·        Maintain a healthy body weight through diet and exercise.

·        Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Fertility goes down with age, especially after the mid-30s. It also lowers the chances that fertility treatments will be successful. Experts say you should talk to your doctor if you're under 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than12 months, or over 35 and have been trying for more than 6 months.

Studies show that sperm count and sperm movement decrease as men age, as does sexual function. But there isn't a cut-off age that makes a man too old to father a child. One study found that it took men age 45 or older longer to get a woman pregnant once the couple started trying. If your partner is older, you may want to talk to your doctor about ways to boost your chances.

How Men Can Boost Fertility

·        Manage stress.

·        Avoid alcohol and tobacco.

·        Maintain a proper weight.

·        Eat a diet high in zinc (found in meat, whole grains, seafood, and eggs), selenium (meat, seafood, mushroom, cereals, and Brazil nuts), and vitamin E. 

·        Keep the testicles cool -- no long, hot baths, hot tubs, or saunas, which can reduce the number of sperm.

How Home Pregnancy Tests Work

Home pregnancy tests check your urine for the"pregnancy hormone," called hCG, that your body makes once a fertilized egg implants in your uterus. Some of these tests may be able to tell if you're pregnant as early as 5 days before your first missed period. 

Pregnancy: 5 Early Signs

·        You miss a period.

·        You need to urinate often.

·        You tire easily.

·        You’re nauseous in the morning -- or all day.

·        Your breasts become tender and enlarged.

 


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