Top 5 Fertility Tips

Lots of women become pregnant without needing to do much more than have sex that one time. For others, it can be a more difficult and even emotional process, especially if the woman has been trying for some time without success.

 

Although each woman’s life and situation is different, and each pregnancy, in turn, is different, here are a few tips that doctors recommend for women looking to become pregnant. Please consult your primary care physician before trying anything different your routine, however, to remain safe.

 

Consider counseling.

If you’re picturing a couch and a psychologist asking “And how does that make you feel?” you’re thinking of the wrong kind. Instead, women looking to become pregnant should receive pre-conception counseling about two to three months before trying, and this can be done with your OB-GYN. Pre-conception counseling is a conversation where your doctor will ask about your goals in getting pregnant, as well as take that time to screen you for potentially harmful conditions. By receiving counseling early, you’re able to find warning signs before they develop further.

 

Get checked out.

Both you and your partner should see a doctor, to make sure your vaccinations are all up to date, in particular. Getting sick while pregnant could lead to a higher risk of complications. By making sure both you and your partner are in the best possible health, you are creating the optimal condition to make a baby.

 

Quit the caffeine.

You could also stand to benefit from abstaining from alcohol and any kind of drugs. In general, though, if you shouldn’t have something while you’re pregnant, it might be a good idea to kick the habit beforehand. And, remember—energy drinks have caffeine, too! Not just coffee!

 

It’s also advisable to not be in the same vicinity as anyone who partakes in smoking. No matter how you ingest the smoke, second-hand or not, it could hurt your chances of becoming pregnant without complications.

 

Stay active.

This is just good life advice in general, but it’s especially true when gearing up to grow another human. The goal is to have thirty minutes of cardio five or six days each week. This is to keep your heart healthy and your weight at a manageable level. If you’re worried about the intensity affecting your fertility, talk with your doctor about the best exercises to do instead of your usual routine. Overall, though, if your period cycle is regular, you won’t need to change too much.

 

It’s okay to feel stressed.

The idea that you need to be completely serene and at peace to conceive a child has no basis in science. So if you’re feeling guilty because you’re always busy, but you still want to have a baby, don’t feel like you’re cheating yourself out of your chance. Anxiety is normal, and it won’t ruin your chances of having a healthy child.

 

Top 3 Questions You’re Embarrassed to Ask Your OB-GYN

top-3-questions-embarassed-to-ask-ob-gyn-dr-lori-gore-green

For first-time and veteran mothers alike, pregnancy can bring up a variety of questions that might feel a little awkward asking out loud. The good news is that most women have had those same questions at some point and that there are answers from trained professionals.

 

Here are some questions about pregnancy you may have wanted to ask but felt too nervous to do so:

 

How Likely Is a Bowel Movement During Delivery?

This fear comes up frequently with new mothers, to the point where they can become so fixated on not having a bowel movement that it inhibits their ability to push.

 

It’s actually extremely common to have a bowel movement during labor, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s a simple reason why it happens: the same muscles a woman uses to push a baby out of her uterus are the same ones she uses when having a bowel movement. With the added weight on her colon and rectum as the baby moves through the birth canal, it’s a very natural bodily reaction.

 

While it may seem embarrassing, keep in mind that childbirth is a very private affair. Doctors are not only undaunted by this, but generally expect it. They’re trained professionals and their primary concern is making sure the mother and baby are healthy throughout the entire pregnancy and delivery.

 

Will My Vagina Be Stretched After I Give Birth?

Not really. Believe it or not, vaginas have muscle memory. The vagina is also made to accommodate childbirth; in other words, it stretches during childbirth and then contracts to its normal size. If a woman wants to strengthen her pelvic floor muscles, there are Kegel exercises, though make sure to check with a doctor first before trying them.

 

Why Does Sex Hurt After Birth?

Having a baby is hard work! With childbirth comes natural trauma to the vaginal area, and it needs time to heal. It’s natural for the sex drive to decrease, given how exhausting caring for a newborn can be. On top of that, if mothers choose to breastfeed, that can change her hormone levels as well, particularly her estrogen levels. This can lead to problems with lubrication. One potential solution is to use a lubricant, as well as giving the body time to adjust postpartum.

 

If the pain continues to exist months after birth, however, it’s best to speak to a doctor to make sure there aren’t any lasting issues.

Do You Fear Period Sex?

Do You Fear Period Sex | Dr. Lori Gore-GreenFor some people, the beginning of a menstrual cycle means the end of sexual intercourse until the cycle has passed. This mindset should be reconsidered, however, when all the benefits of sex during your period are taken into consideration.

1. Reduced Risk Of Pregnancy

When you strip away the passion, pleasure, and excitement, sex is ultimately designed for procreation. Any form of vaginal penetration by a penis that results in ejaculation has the chance to cause pregnancy. Due to the nature of a woman’s menstrual cycle, there is a reduced risk of pregnancy from sex, although not an entirely eliminated risk. Sperm can live inside of a woman’s body for up to five days, so if you have sex near the end of your cycle, you can still conceive a child once your menstrual cycle ends. The safest time to enjoy a reduced risk of pregnancy is to have sex near the beginning of your period.

2. Natural Pain Relief

Sex brings an incredible amount of pleasure that, when done properly, results in an orgasm. Orgasms are fun and enjoyable, but they also play a pivotal biological function with regards to the brain. This is especially true in women. The female orgasm causes the brain to release a healthy dose of endorphins which are chemicals that spread through the body to promote a boost in overall mood and help to relieve pain. A 1985 study shows that a woman’s pain tolerance increases drastically after an orgasm. So, having sex can help relieve the pain of menstrual cramps and other pains commonly associated with that time of the month.

3. Sleep Aid

Endorphins aren’t the only biological substances released by the female brain during an orgasm. The hormone known as prolactin is also released during an orgasm. Prolactin is a hormone that helps to calm the body and prepare it for a long, restful sleep. This is why people tend to become lethargic and sleepy after sex that causes an orgasm.

4. Ease Of Penetration

Some women have issues with vaginal dryness that causes difficulties during sex. The benefit of engaging in sex during a period is that this issue is almost entirely alleviated. There is more than enough lubrication present during this time of the month to allow for easy penetration and increased pleasure because of the lubricated sensation.

Does Your Baby Need a Bluetooth Onesie?

Dr. Lori Gore-Green OBGYN

For about $200, parents can link up their infants with a bluetooth onesie or slipper to a monitor which notifies the parents of any changes in regulation. The purpose of the apparatus is to check breathing patterns, sleep patterns, and body movements keeping parents aware and in better contact with their infants, even while sleeping or in the room next door. Many new and stressed-out parents found reassurance in the directness and better response time. The appeal of always being connected, effortlessly, gave parents a peace of mind to carry on with their daily tasks, never more than a baby’s cry away. Others, however, are confused as to the essential benefits of having high-tech methods for infant-to-parent communication, viewing the piece as an unnecessary addition to a relatively uncomplicated process.

A little bit of science goes a long way to show no significant changes in the preventative care of a baby hooked up to bluetooth. While parents have a wider radius of distance they can travel away from the baby without feeling urgently needed, the technology fails to prove itself a deserving commodity. Much more likely, it is a slight scam for new parents worrying day in, day out about the health of their baby.

Dr. David King, writing for the British Medical Journal, retold a similar story with parents buying sleep apnea monitors for their babies. The investment in medical technology, per se, proved to be no protectant against the major concern for parents which is sudden infant death syndrome (which makes up about 80% of deaths in infants up to one year old.). The very nature of SIDS is that its etiology is unknown. Neonatologist Dr Retajczyk explains that the uneducated attempt to be more in tune with one’s baby can make parents worry obsessively over things they do not understand. He asks, “There’s a huge variation [in heart rate] in newborns…so if parents see these trends, does that become worrisome when in reality it’s quite normal?”

At this stage, only one leading company has pledged to conduct clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of its product. Parents and doctors alike should encourage companies with experimental products to further engage in scientific research that lends evidential support to their usage.

How to Shed Those Post-Pregnancy Pounds

Dr. Lori Gore Gore-Green PregnantCongratulations! Your new baby is here and now you’re impatient to return to your pre-pregnancy weight. Following a smart plan will help you shed the extra pounds, but these things take time you’ll need to do it in a way that is healthy for your body.

Follow these 6 steps to healthily shedding your post-pregnancy pounds:

  • Stay Hydrated: The recommendations for your suggested daily water intake vary from place to place, but most doctors nevertheless agree that staying hydrated is key for maintaining a healthy weight. Use your urine color as a gauge for your hydration level — if your urine is relatively clear, you know that you’re probably drinking enough fluids. (Note: Some medications and pills, such as B vitamins, can cause your urine to turn bright yellow, regardless of your hydration level).
  • Don’t Diet: Dieting can be the wrong mindset for new mothers, especially if they are breastfeeding their babies. Instead of putting an exclusive focus on cutting calories, put the focus back on eating healthy foods in a well-balanced variety. Eat lots and lots of vegetables, have a portion of healthy grains and lean protein at each meal, and keep small, healthy snacks available for noshing in between.
  • Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods: Your body needs all the nutrition it can get while it’s recovering from a delivery. This is particularly true if you’re breastfeeding your baby. Routinely add superfoods to your diet, such as salmon, quinoa, milk, greek yogurt, spinach, and avocados, in moderation.
  • Breastfeed: The jury is still out on whether breastfeeding can actually help mothers lose weight — some studies suggest it can help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight faster while others find no difference. Either way, breastfeeding is worth pursuing because it gives your baby a number of health benefits, including a boosted immunity. You can add 200-300 extra calories to your diet if you exclusively breastfeed, but just make sure to keep those calories in line with the rest of your weight loss plan.
  • Start Burning Calories: Your weight loss starts in the kitchen, but it ends with your exercising routine. Make sure to include both strength training and aerobic training exercises into your weekly regimen to help you de-stress, achieve better sleep, avoid depression, and keep off the extra pounds.
  • Catch Up On Sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep with a new baby around may sound impossible but getting those 8 hours of sleep is one of the most effective ways to keep off the extra weight. When you’re well rested, you’ll have more motivation to exercise and you’ll reduce the weight-gain effects of stress hormones like cortisol. Make it a priority to sleep when your baby sleeps and try to take naps during the day to catch up on lost sleep. You’ll have to go to bed earlier, but you’ll be thankful that you did.

C-Section Rates Too High in China

China C-section rate high

The C-section rate in China stands at about 50% of all deliveries and must be reduced.

According to a commentary recently published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and summarized in an article completed for Science Daily, the rate of cesarean sections in China is far too high and efforts need to be made to reduce the reliance on the procedure.  The research completed for the commentary indicates that, of the sixteen million babies born in 2010, approximately half of them were delivered through cesarean section.  However, the article did acknowledge that the exact rate of births by cesarean section, but the literature available on the topic in China indicates that the rate of C-sections could range anywhere between thirty six percent and fifty eight percent.

Several reasons for the priority placed on cesarean sections are discussed.  With the existing high number of deliveries occurring in the nation, cesarean sections may simply be the preferred method, due to the advantages of managing an enormous volume of births with limited resources.  There are also a series of financial incentives for hospitals and physicians who engage in cesarean sections as opposed to traditional vaginal deliveries.  Insurance is more willing to cover the costs of childbirth, if the baby is delivered by cesarean section.  Physician and hospital revenues are also increased with the procedure as well; in addition, physician salaries are often supplemented, based in patient volume and collections.  In this sense, cesarean sections allow for a higher salary for physicians, as they collect more than traditional vaginal deliveries.

Money also plays a role in the staffing influences over choosing cesarean sections as the preferred method of delivery.  Staffing levels in China public hospitals are low and limited, due to government regulation.  Per one thousand people in the population, there is only one and a half nurses or midwives.  As cesarean sections require less nursing hours when compared to vaginal deliveries, it makes sense to pursue this avenue in the interest of staffing.  Finally, training is varied and inconsistent in obstetrics and gynecology in China; less than two percent of physicians complete a masters or PhD level in their training.

There is also a factor of patient preference.  Since the One Child Policy has been passed, mothers demand perfect outcome on the one and only attempt, particularly in wards that don’t offer pain control, epidurals or much nursing support.  Fundamentally, there is a fear of labor that inclines mothers towards cesarean sections.  However, in November, a less strict version of the One Child Policy is expected to go into action, which would allow for the birth of a second child.  With the increased number of births would come an increased reliance on cesarean sections; therefore, the commentary postulates that this will force medical professionals to return once more to traditional vaginal deliveries, as to cut back on the risks in childbirth.

Top Medical Center Undergoes Traumatic Event

Dr. Nakita Levy, Gynecologist at Johns Hopkins, Committed Suicide after Investigation for Recording Patients.

Dr. Nikita Levy, Gynecologist at Johns Hopkins, Committed Suicide after Investigation for Recording Patients.

In a recent article by The Boston Globe, Johns Hopkins is said to have to pay a $190 million in a gynecology settlement. A gynecologist at one of the world’s top medical centers, Johns Hopkins Health System, was fired after 25 years for secretly used tiny cameras to record and take pictures of his patients. Because of this, Johns Hopkins has been forced to pay $190 million to 8,000 women and girls that have been affected by this doctor’s actions. Dr. Nikita Levy was spotted by a female co worker with his pen like camera that he used around his neck and alerted authorities. Roughly 1,200 videos and 140 images where stored on his computers at home. After being investigated by authorities, Dr. Levy committed suicide.

Many women and girls were “brutalized” by this recent finding. Many had issues sleeping, they were unable to work, and ended up needing counseling. In the preliminary settlement which was approved by a judge on Monday, this was said to be one of the largest cases on record in the United States. Even though this case has been closed and never produced criminal charges, it still threatens the reputation of Johns Hopkins.

Lawyers working on the case state that thousands of women were traumatized even though their faces were not visible in the pictures and videos that were recovered. According to attorney, Howard Janet, 62 of the victims were young girls whose chaperones were sent out of the exam rooms by Dr. Levy, breaking hospital protocol. It is the hope of Johns Hopkins that the pictures are never leaked and that the victims involved in this recent case will achieve some sense of closer soon. Looking forward for the future, Johns Hopkins hopes that people will not think of the institute in a negative light after this recent case since the institute does so much good for the community.

Controversy Over Necessity of Pelvic Exams

Pelvic exams may not be a necessary procedure during an annual gynecologist exam for women who are not pregnant.

Pelvic exams may not be a necessary procedure during an annual gynecologist exam for women who are not pregnant.

The yearly trip to the gynecologist can be a dreaded event for many females.  Pap smears are unpleasant and can often be only the tip of the iceberg, as many doctors also include pelvic and rectal exams as well.  However, according to an article completed by the Daily News that summarizes a new series of guidelines released by the American College of Physicians, the pelvic exams may no longer be a necessary procedure to inflict upon women who are not pregnant.

In the procedures involved in the yearly check up with a gynecologist, women are often subjected to pelvic exams under the pretense that the ordeal can help in finding possible signs of ovarian cysts, sexual transmitted infections, uterine fibroids and early detection of cancer.  However, according to findings published by the ACP in their journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the routine pelvic exam has not shown to benefit as it was previously thought to.  The exam is now believed to rarely detect important disease and doesn’t reduce mortality in the average risk woman who is not pregnant.  In fact, the examination is often associated with discomfort for many women, including a round of potential false positives and negative exams, along with additional unnecessary costs.  However, this finding does not apply to pap smears, which are believed to still be beneficial.

The researchers with the American College of Physicians are not the first to suggest that pelvic exams could be excluded from the routine trip to the OBGYN.  Carolyn Westhoff was the first to suggest eliminating the procedure, with an article published in 2011.  The article indicated that if the woman was experiencing none of the typical concerning symptoms—such as discharge, abnormal bleeding, pain, urinary problems or sexual dysfunction—the procedure was very unnecessary.  She, in turn, approves of the announcement made by the ACP.

However, Westhoff and the ACP are not without their opponents.  The guideline is expected to stir up quite a bit of controversy. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology remains in favor of the annual pelvic exam, as it allows doctors to fully explain a patient’s anatomy to them—including a reassurance of normality and an ability to answer any questions.

World Health Organization Increases Access to Safe Blood for Pregnant Women

Women lose a large amount of blood during pregnancy and childbirth.

Women lose a large amount of blood during pregnancy and childbirth.

In a recent article published by FIGO, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, The World Health Organization (WHO) is making an attempt to further reduce maternal mortality rates by providing better access to safe blood. WHO is targeting this call to governments to improve access to safer and cleaner blood. During pregnancy, after pregnancy and during childbirth, severe bleeding is the world’s leading cause of maternal deaths. This severe bleeding can unfortunately kill a healthy woman in as little as two hours, unless she receives appropriate careas soon as possible.

The World Health Organization is taking action to make sure that these child bearing women receive clean blood transfusionsto keep them healthy.

The World Health Organization is taking action to make sure that these child bearing women receive clean blood transfusionsto keep them healthy.

With increasing the access to safe blood, a large number of women’s lives could be saved with the help of blood transfusions. However, in order to have a blood transfusion, there needs to be access to safe blood for the doctors to use and this is where the problem lies.  According to WHO director, Dr. Margaret Chan, “If all facilities provided safe blood for transfusion, many of these mother’s lives could be saved.” This being said, there is still a major need and shortage for safe blood to provide to patients. This continues to prove to be the main contributor to high maternal mortality in many countries.

Many hope that World Blood Donor Day will draw attention to issues surrounding blood supplies to women who are in desperate need of healthy, clean blood. It will be marked as a global event in Colombo, Sri Lanka in order to raise awareness in other countries.

Study Finds that Hormone Treatments Extend Survival of Lung Cancer

Hormones may be utilized for several purposes.

Hormones may be utilized for several purposes.

A study was recently conducted by Ann G. Schwartz, PhD, MPH, of Karmanos Cancer Institute of Detroit, Michigan.  Schwartz was the lead author on the study, which sought to observe the potential connection between hormone use and lung cancer outcomes in women.  The findings of the study were published in the March issue of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer’s journal—the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.  An article recently completed by Science Daily summarized the study and the findings.

Four hundred and eighty five women were included in the study.  At the start of the study, baseline data was collected, which included the stage of the disease at diagnosis, treatment type (surgery or radiation), smoking status, age, race and educational attainment.  Once this data was gathered, the only factor taken under consideration was the use of hormone therapy and its ability to predict the survival outcomes in women with lung cancer.  Some women were treated with just estrogen; others were given a combination of estrogen and progesterone.  On average, women diagnosed with lung cancer without any hormone therapy as treatment survive 37.5 months.  Those who are given hormone therapy survive, on average, eighty months.  Specific averages for patients given just estrogen survived approximately eighty-three months, while those who were provided with a combined treatment of estrogen and progesterone survived eighty-seven months.

From these findings, Schwartz was able to declare that reproductive and hormonal factors do influence women who have been diagnosed with non-small all lung cancer.  However, she disclaims that research in this field is limited and that further studies would be required to observe the effect these treatments could have on long-term sufferers from lung cancer.