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Chronic Diseases and Pregnancy
When we talk about health before pregnancy, we mean lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity, habits, and also possible chronic diseases, such as increased blood pressure or diabetes. If you have such diseases, then you just have to visit a doctor beforehand. You know, this can make pregnancy difficult, cause harm to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor which medicinal preparations and in which doses you are taking. A doctor will recommend you tests and observations that you should pass, for example, X-ray photography. Try to discuss all the questions you have for the moment.
It is much simpler to think about a treatment strategy before pregnancy and then worry about complications.
Diabetes – it is a disease that appears as a result of a lack of insulin in the body, this hormone is produced by the pancreas. If you have diabetes, it will be harder for you to get pregnant. In addition, diabetes can significantly affect pregnancy loss. First of all, it can become a reason for miscarriage or stillbirth. Second, women suffering from diabetes can give birth to babies with birth defects.
You can reduce the risk of such complications due to constant control of sugar content in blood during pregnancy. If you do not take care of your condition, then diabetes during pregnancy can be dangerous for both you and your future baby. Most complications related to diabetes appear during the first trimester, ie during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.
Pregnancy can cause complications of diabetes, which will require an increase in the dose of insulin. This can be easily determined with the help of a blood sugar test. Most doctors recommend taking care of this disease for at least 2-3 months before conception. This will help reduce the likelihood of miscarriage or other problems. Most likely, you will have to pass tests on sugar content in blood several times a day, in order to completely control the disease and avoid possible complications. Past experience shows that women suffering from diabetes have had serious problems with conception and termination of pregnancy. But dying for complete and permanent control even women-diabetics can count on a successful outcome of pregnancy and childbirth.
If there have been cases of diabetes in your family or you have the slightest suspicions about your own health, go through tests before pregnancy for sure.
About 1% of pregnant women suffer from asthma. It is impossible to predict the influence of pregnancy on asthma. Half of women who suffer from this disease do not notice any changes during pregnancy, about 25% feel even a slight improvement, and the rest (25%) observe a worsening of the condition.
Most anti-asthma medicines are safe for pregnant women, but it is still better to consult a doctor about preparation to take. Almost everyone who suffers from asthma knows what can become a reason for fit, so avoid contact with allergens before pregnancy and throughout pregnancy. Try to check your condition even before pregnancy.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can cause health complications for both mother and unborn baby. For women, it is related to the risk of kidney failure, the probability of a hypertensive crisis or a headache. An increase in the blood pressure of a future mother can become a reason for a decrease in blood flow to the placenta, which will lead to a delay in fetal development, ie a baby will weigh less than normal at birth.
If you had high blood pressure before pregnancy, then you just have to take care of it for every 9 months. Probably, a gynecologist will send you to the observation of a therapist or a family doctor for this purpose.
Before taking a decision to become pregnant, women suffering from hypertension should consult a doctor. Some high blood pressure medications are safe for pregnant women, some are not. Do not stop taking pills and reduce the dose without a doctor’s prescription! This can be dangerous. If you are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor about medications you take for high blood pressure and the safety of taking these medications during pregnancy.
During pregnancy the load on the heart increases by about 50%. If you have heart disease, it is important that your doctor knows about it before you become pregnant.
Certain heart conditions, such as mitral valve prolapse, can seriously complicate pregnancy loss. Probably, you will even have to take antibiotics before delivery. Other heart diseases, such as congenital heart disease, can seriously affect a state of health. In this case, pregnancy and childbirth are sometimes contraindicated.
Consult your doctor about heart conditions before you get pregnant.
Diseases of kidneys and urinary bladder
Infections of the urinary system, especially the urinary bladder, often appear during pregnancy. If you do not treat an illness in time, an infection can pass to the kidneys, causing pyelonephritis.
Bladder infections and pyelonephritis can lead to premature birth. If you have ever suffered from pyelonephritis or recurrent infections of the urinary system, this should be determined before pregnancy.
Kidney stones can also make it difficult to pass a pregnancy. This disease is accompanied by severe pains in the lower part of the abdomen, so it is quite difficult to diagnose it during pregnancy. In addition, stones in the kidneys can become a reason for the appearance of infections of the urinary system and pyelonephritis.
If you’ve ever had a simple urinary bladder infection, you don’t have to worry much. But you still need to inform your doctor about it. He will decide whether you should undergo more careful observation before pregnancy.
Thyroid diseases can appear both due to excess or lack of thyroid hormone. An excess of hormone is called thyrotoxicosis. In this case, metabolism in the human body is accelerated. This can be caused by Graves’ disease. Thyrotoxicosis is usually treated with the help of the operation of medical drugs, reducing the content of thyroid hormone in the body. If you do not treat this disease, there is quite a high risk of premature birth and birth of a baby with a low weight.
You can take our treatment also during pregnancy: there are quite safe preparations that pregnant women can take.
Lack of thyroid hormone – hypothyroidism – is usually caused by a disease of autoimmune origin. In this case, the thyroid gland is damaged by antibodies that are produced by your body. During hypothyroidism thyroid hormones are prescribed. Untreated hypothyroidism threatens with sterility or habitual lack of pregnancy.
If you have thyrotoxicosis or hypothyroidism, you must go through observation before pregnancy, to determine the dosage of medical drugs, necessary for treatment. In the process of pregnancy, your need for preparations may change, and then you will have to spend another observation.
Anemia means that there is a lack of hemoglobin in your body. There are several reasons and related to this several types of anemia. Symptoms of anemia are weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath and pale skin.
During pregnancy, the body’s need for iron and iron-containing substances increases. If at the beginning of pregnancy you suffer from a lack of iron in the blood, anemia increases this lack. So you need to take vitamins and preparations, containing a full selection of microelements, necessary for an organism.
One of the specific types of anemia – cyclocellular disease, which is passed genetically: it is mainly spread among black populations. If you suffer from sickle cell disease, your body is deprived of oxygen. Passing off this type of anemia can be very painful, and it can also act as a reason for other diseases and complications during pregnancy. Sickle cell disease cannot be cured and can be passed on to your baby. Women suffering from sickle cell disease have a very high percentage of miscarriages and urinary tract infections. They can also suffer from high blood pressure and painful hypertension strokes.
Another type of anemia – thalassemia is also passed down genetically. If any of your relatives suffer from thalassemia or you think you may have it, get it checked before pregnancy.
Lupus is a vascular disease of autoimmune origin. This means that your body produces antibodies that can destroy your organs or negatively affect the functions of these organs. Lupus can affect different organs, including joints, kidneys, lungs and heart.
This disease is difficult to diagnose. One woman out of 700 between the ages of 15 and 64 suffers from lupus. Among black women it is encountered more often, in one case out of 254. As a rule, lupus strikes women more often than men, especially women of reproductive age, so from 20 to 40 years.
Lupus treatment is very individual and usually means taking if steroids. It is better not to get pregnant during the attack of this disease, because miscarriages are extremely common among women suffering from lupus. Risk of giving birth to a stillborn baby also increases.
Babies born to mothers suffering from lupus may have a rash. They can also have different heart diseases. Premature birth and delay in prenatal development of the fetus are also quite possible.
If you suffer from lupus, consult your doctor before pregnancy for sure.
Epilepsy and seizures
Epilepsy – is a chronic disease, characterized by different types of seizures (convulsions). Epilepsy is most often manifested by large and small seizures. Chance of giving birth to a baby with epilepsy can be 1 in 30 for women suffering from epilepsy. Such babies are at risk of congenital diseases, probably, connected with drugs that the future mother took during pregnancy.
If you are taking medication for epilepsy, it is very important to consult your doctor before pregnancy. Discuss dosages and types of medications you take, as many preparations, relieving seizures, cause congenital diseases in babies. However, there are safe means for the fetus, for example, Phenobarbital.
Seizures can be dangerous for both mother and fetus. So it is especially important to take medicines exactly as prescribed by a doctor during pregnancy. Under no circumstances should you reduce the dose or stop taking the medicine yourself, without a doctor!
About 15-20% of all pregnant women suffer from migraine. Many women notice an improvement in health during pregnancy. If you are going to take headache pills during pregnancy, check with your doctor how safe they are for you and future baby.
Question about probability of influence of cancer on pregnancy depends on the fact which organ it hits and how wide is growth. Breast cancer is most often a form of cancer, encountered among women. If you have had breast cancer, this will not affect pregnancy anyway, and pregnancy, in turn, will not cause breast cancer.
Many doctors advise waiting 2-3 years with childbirth after breast cancer treatment. It is very important to discuss case history and method of treatment with your doctor even before pregnancy. Situation can become quite complicated if you are pregnant and going through treatment at the same time. Many medicines and remedies against cancer are not safe for future mother and baby.
We examined only a few chronic diseases. However, any disease can be dangerous for a future baby. So if you suffer from any chronic disease or have to take medication constantly, discuss it with your doctor.
The general rule is as follows: it is better not to take medicines or undergo any treatment at the time of conception and in the early stages of pregnancy. Laying down of all the organs and tissues of a baby takes place during the 1st trimester of pregnancy, and during this period you must protect the future baby from harmful influences of medicines or observations. You will feel better and calmer if you solve all these problems before pregnancy.
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