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Injectable Contraceptives

February 03, 09 by admin

 

Injectable contraceptives contain synthetic hormones and are given via deep intramuscular injection.  It is usually given every 3 months.  They mimic the functions and actions of the main hormones responsible for ovulation.  It is a very effective form of reversible contraceptive method.  Two types of injectable contraceptives are available: the progestin-only and the combination of progestin and estrogen.  The more popular one is the progestin-only.  It is available in many brand names, but the Depo-Provera is the most popularly known and used.

 

The Good

 

Injectables, as they are fondly called, are gaining popularity lately.  There are many reasons behind this.  Aside from being extremely effective, it is very convenient because you don’t have to take anything daily or do anything at all unlike those natural family planning methods where you always have to compute and be aware of your body.  Women only have to go to the clinic every 3 months, so aside from convenience, privacy is also an advantage.  Injectables are also said to improve menstrual cramps, depression, endometriosis and premenstrual symptoms.  You also lose less blood during your menstruation.

 

The Bad

 

There are also disadvantages when it comes to injectables.  Some women who use injectables experience very irregular periods.  It may bother some.  It also causes weight gain, so exercise and careful diet is more a must.  There is also increasing concern regarding the long term effects of taking in synthetic hormones.  Not only do they cause bone degeneration, but they also predispose the woman to developing cancer.  This is true especially for those with family history of cancer.  Also, normal ovulation does not resume immediately after stopping the injections.  It may take a couple of months before your ovaries function again.

 

Effectiveness, Limitations and Side Effects

 

Progestin-only injectables have 0.1% to 0.6% failure rate, while combined injectables have a 0.2% to 0.4% failure rate.  They are not subject to user error which makes them very effective.  However, there are limitations as to who are eligible in using this method.  Girls below 16 should not use them because of its effect on bone density.  Before using injectables, you must first make sure that you are not pregnant as it may cause significant harm to the fetus.  A woman about to use this must also be aware of the possibility of losing her period entirely with prolonged use.  There are also side effects associated with injectables such as headache, decrease in libido, and probable difficulty in conceiving after taking this medication.  It is also not recommended for women with Diabetes, high blood pressure and those with blood clotting disorders.

Prenatal Nutrition

October 02, 08 by admin

 

Good nutrition is important for all of us.  It becomes crucial when you start eating for two.  There are specific guidelines regarding diet during pregnancy.  There are certain recommendations in the amount of nutrient intake especially those that are essential for your baby’s growth and development.  These guidelines are adjusted accordingly when you are carrying more than one baby, when you are over or under weight, when you have difficulty in eating or when you have allergies.  Normally, your OB would tell you whether you need to consult to a nutritionist or not.

 

Weight Matters

 

Pregnancy is the worst time for you to think about losing weight.  Weight gain during pregnancy is one of the parameter used to determine fetal development and well being.  If your pre-pregnant weight is normal or desirable, the normal total weight gain through out pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds.  In case of those who are shorter than 5’2”, they may have lower normal weight gain.  It is important to have a normal weight before trying to get pregnant.  Being under or overweight will affect the baby, so weight corrections should be done before and not during pregnancy.

 

Essential Nutrients

 

Protein is the tissue building nutrient.  Since the fetus is rapidly developing its organs, protein is very vital during the prenatal period.  Folic acid contributes to normal development of the fetus’s nervous system.  Lack of this may lead to neurological deficits.  A certain dose of folic acid is given through out pregnancy.  Calcium intake should also be increased since the baby’s bones are quickly forming.  Strong bones are needed to prevent congenital deformities and fractures during normal child birth.  Iron is needed by the baby for normal formation of blood components especially red blood cells.  Iron supplements should be given on a daily basis for all pregnant women.  Other vitamins and minerals in the form of a multivitamins and minerals tablet should also be taken by the mother.  They help in proper growth and development of the fetus.  Lack of certain vitamins and minerals may lead to deformities and sickness to their unborn child.

 

Food Servings

 

There’s no better time for you to be conscious about your food intake than when you are pregnant.  Generally, there are recommended food servings for each food groups.  For the bread and cereals group, 6-11 servings are recommended; for the vegetables group, 3-5 servings; for the fruit group, 2-4 servings; while for the protein and dairy group 2-3 servings are ideal.  It is important to keep in mind the serving sizes of each type of food.  Some food like meat products has relatively small serving sizes.  You may have eaten 3 servings already and not know it.  It is also important to maintain your fluid intake to a minimum of 8 glasses.  You don’t want to dehydrate your baby as this may interfere with development.  Proper nutrition during pregnancy goes a long way for your child.  Embrace the body changes, its normal.  Pregnancy is a temporary state, ensure that you are eating properly and there’s no way why you should return to your normal sexy state.

Fertility Drugs

August 26, 08 by admin

Infertility is a reproductive problem encountered by some couples nowadays.  Many infertile couples eventually experience insecurities and incompetence especially those who are wishing to be parents.  In the advent of modern science, many treatments were established to enhance the probability of pregnancy in most infertile couples.  One of which is the use of fertility drugs.

 Types and Uses of Fertility Drugs

Fertility drugs are medication used to induce pregnancy.  These drugs are especially designed to improve the production of hormones responsible for ovulation in women and spermatogenesis (production of sperm) in men.

A common infertility problem encountered by women is decrease in production or failure to produce egg cells.  This is due to the decrease in production of gonadotropic hormones which is composed of the follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) responsible for the maturation of the ovum and the luteinizing hormone (LH) which is responsible for ovulation.  Clomide Citrate is the drug, which is the counterpart of FSH and LH.  Besides inducing ovulation, it also enhances production of sperm in males with low sperm count.

Another drug which enhances ovulation is menotropin (pergonal).  This is also known as the Human menopausal gonadotropin.  They have been taken out from the menopausal woman’s urine sample which contains FSH and LH.  Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is combined with menotropin to potentiate the effects of the latter drug to induce ovulation.

Some women have abnormalities in the production of FSH.  Most physicians prescribe them with Urofollitropin (Metrodin).  This drug usually contains only FSH.  This is indicated to women with polycystic ovary syndrome.  As a side effect, women often have multiple ovum production every month resulting in multiple pregnancies.

Progestin or Progesterone, which is also known as the” hormone of the mother”, is another drug used to treat infertility.  Progesterone stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to secrete hormones which thickens the uterine wall in preparation for implantation.  As the fertilized ovum is released from the fallopian tube, it needs to attach to the uterine lining and begin to form germ layers which eventually will become the essential organs of the fetus.  This drug is indicated to those women who have habitual miscarriages.

Other fertility drugs are especially produced for men with low sperm count or low sperm motility.  Proxeed is a drug used to treat oligospermia but there are few reports to provide evidences of cure.

 

Additional Information

Fertility drugs can really induce pregnancy, but make sure that you use a drug that is prescribed by your physician.  Dedication and conscientiously drinking these medications will give a better chance of having pregnancy and living your life as a parent.

Natural Fertility Signs

August 15, 08 by admin

During the period of adolescence and early adulthood, many teenagers and young adults become curious of their sexuality and sexual preferences.  They tend to experiment and engage in sexual activities, but oftentimes, curiosity can lead to accidents.  By accidents, I mean unwanted pregnancies or catching STDs.  Perhaps as early as the school age years, children are exposed to issues on sex and protection against STDs or unwanted pregnancies.

As the girl reaches puberty, her body undergoes tremendous changes, both physical and emotional changes.  Hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, increase in production, and they are the ones responsible for the changes in the woman’s body.

Basal Body Temperature

There are changes in a woman’s body which can help determine the fertility and infertility periods.  A method which can determine if a woman is fertile is by measuring her basal body temperature.  The basal body temperature is baseline temperature of your body.  During the ovulation period, the temperature rises slightly by 1/3 to 1/2 degrees.  This is considered as the woman’s infertile days, thus, it is safe to engage in sexual intercourse.  On the other hand, if the woman’s basal body temperature falls and rises up to a full degree, it is considered as her fertile days.  It is not safe to engage in sexual intercourse.  But in order to achieve the accurate results, a woman must take her temperature before getting up in the morning, apart from performing any activities.

Cervical Mucus Test

The use of cervical mucus can also determine your fertility period.  A woman can observe her underwear for traces of mucus, or she can get a sample of mucus from the opening of the cervix.  If a woman is infertile, the cervical mucus is thick in consistency and does not stretch when it is pulled between the fingers.  Alternatively, if a woman is fertile, the consistency is thin, watery and clear.  It stretches one inch when pulled between the fingers.  Usually after every menstrual period, woman experiences dryness for several days, then it becomes low and cloudy.  But during the ovulation phase, it becomes slippery and transparent.

Cervical Position Test

Another method to determine your fertility period is by checking your cervical position.  You can choose any position as long as it’s comfortable for you.  Some women prefer the sitting position while others choose to squat or pull one leg up after the other.  You may use your non-dominant hand to spread the vaginal lips and insert your other hand to the position of the cervix.  It is somewhat round, cylindrical in shape.  If it’s far back, then you’re infertile, but if it’s in a low position, then you are fertile.

Basal Body Temperature Method

August 02, 08 by admin

 The Basal Body Temperature Method is also called BBT or the Symptho-Thermal Method.  It requires careful and accurate measurement of daily morning temperature and precise recording of these temperatures.  There are hormonal physiologic basis for this method.  Before ovulation, a woman’s temperature is low because the Estrogen level in the body is higher than Progesterone.  During ovulation, Progesterone levels exceed Estrogen levels which cause a spike in temperature.  This happens usually for 3 days.  After the temperature spike, you return to your normal low temperature, and Ovulation already took place.  This is not a very popular natural family planning method mainly because it is difficult for some to give the commitment and responsibility it requires.  But this method, for those who are able to do it correctly, has a very high success rate.

 

Measure and Record

 

To use this method, you are required to take your temperature as soon as you wake up, and as soon as you wake up means before doing anything at all.  You should not go out of bed, eat, drink, have sex or smoke before taking your temperature.  For your record to be accurate, temperature should be taken at the same time everyday.  Using an alarm clock is a smart idea.  Also, using the same thermometer is a must.  There are special types of thermometer especially made for BBT purposes available at your local pharmacy.  These thermometers are more accurate in detecting even 0.1 F fluctuations in your core temperature.  Lack of sleep affects your core temperature.  It is ideal that you have at least 4-6 hours of sleep the night before you take your temperature.  Where you document your temperature readings is up to you, but there are lots of BBT monitoring sheets downloadable from the internet.

 

 

Note That Fluctuation

 

During ovulation, your temperature increases about 1-2 F and is sustained for around 3 days.  These are the days when you are likely to have your ovulation.  If you are trying to get pregnant, it is best to have sex at least 2 days before and during this 3 day spike.  If you are avoiding pregnancy, it is best to abstain completely from sex during these days.  The reason why some couples use this method is because they have shorter abstinence period.  With the correct implementation, BBT is a very effective and safe family planning method.

Infertility in Men

July 26, 08 by admin

It’s hard when a married couple makes all sorts of plans and wake up one day realizing that they are unable to bear children.  Women are the ones most commonly affected by infertility, but according to statistics, one-third of the time, men are the ones affected.  Current statistics show that around 6% of men between 15 and 50 are infertile.  There are many risk factors which may predispose one to being infertile.  Some of these factors are testicular trauma, delayed or advanced puberty, history of genital infection, mumps occurring after onset of puberty, heavy alcohol and drug abuse, unfavorable and toxic working conditions, certain drugs and certain congenital conditions.

 

It’s Usually about the Sperms

Sperm cells, to be able to reach and penetrate the egg cell should be mature, adequate in amount and should have good motility.  Problems arise when one or more of these properties are failed to be met.  Infertile men usually have sperms that are immature, abnormal in shape, lacks good motility, too few or not produced at all!  Many factors lead to these conditions.  Some of which are anatomical, hormonal, genetic, immunological, environmental or lifestyle related in nature.

 

Low Sperm Count

 

Among the many causes of infertility, the most common is having low sperm counts.  The vagina is acidic.  This kills the sperm on their way to the egg cell.  This is the reason why millions of sperm is required to reach that single egg cell though only one sperm cell is required to fertilize it.  Sperm production is done in the scrotum.  This is because they are unable to survive in the high temperature of the body.  When the scrotum is always brought closer to the body or if the man is working in a generally hot place like cooks, drivers and factory workers, the sperms are exposed to higher temperature and they are destroyed.  This is the most common cause of low sperm counts.  Also, chronic alcoholism, emotional stress, infections and blockage somewhere along the passageway are also causes of low sperm counts.  Frequent sex also depletes your supply of sperms.  This is when you use them up faster than your body can make them.

 

I’m Not Sure

Instead of playing the blame game, it is best that both you and your wife get checked.  The most common diagnostic test for determining infertility in men is the Multiple Semen Analysis.  In this test, at least two semen samples are sent to the laboratory on separate days. 

 

 The semen is examined for characteristics such as volume, consistency, and alkalinity.  The sperms are examined for their number, morphology or shape and their motility.  Infertility is not always permanent.  There are always other ways for you and your partner to have children and build a family.

Before Becoming Pregnant

July 19, 08 by admin

Pregnancy is an important event for any women. It is also the commencement of an exciting new life. It should be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for all involved. However, some women embark on pregnancy with a degree of fear and trepidation.

 

This may be because pregnancy is a previously uncharted journey for them, or because they have suffered complications in a previous pregnancy, or perhaps they have a pre-existing medical condition that they feel may effect or be affected by pregnancy. Despite the importance of pregnancy it is not unusual for couples to stumble into it.

 

Everyone wants a healthy outcome of their pregnancy, but everyone try their own ideas about pregnancy. An awareness of the benefits of preparing for pregnancy, an understanding of pregnancy, birth and the complications that can occur will help dispel any fear and can influence outcome. It is recognized that women who learn about pregnancy and childbirth are more likely to have a better experience of labour and delivery.

 

Knowledge will also allow greater participation in the choices that require to be made in the management of your pregnancy.  Ideally, you should start preparing yourself for pregnancy for about 3 to 4 months before you actually try to conceive. The time to start taking care of your body is before you get pregnant. You increase your odds of having a healthy baby if you are in the best possible physical condition before you conceive.

 

It’s important to consider such additional factors as your physical and emotional readiness for parenthood, the career costs of having a baby, and your financial situation. Your physical and nutritional well being will impact the very early growth of the embryo, perhaps before you even know you’re pregnant, and will be a critical determinant of pregnancy outcome.

 

 

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