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

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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.

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.