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Conception is an incredible thing and when we think of the bouncing baby boy or girl that may result, it makes us all warm and fuzzy inside. It just seems like having children is part of everyone’s master plan and easy enough to do. But did you know that conception is relatively hard to come by? In any given month, couples age 29-33 with normal functioning reproductive systems have only a 20-25% chance of conceiving. After six months of trying, only 60% of couples will conceive without medical assistance. Understanding how conception occurs Why is Mother Nature so tricky? To understand, let’s take

When Do You Start Showing in Pregnancy? When do pregnant women start showing? First, it’s a matter of perception. The person who is pregnant may feel like they’re showing long before others notice. There are also a number of factors that influence when the baby bump becomes more noticeable, such as age, weight, and whether the person has been pregnant before. For first-time parents, a baby bump can start showing between 12 and 16 weeks. But others may start showing sooner if it’s not their first baby. Learning more about the first trimester of pregnancy can explain what’s happening in the early stages of

 Blood pressure screening Known as the silent killer, high blood pressure typically doesn't cause any symptoms but has a devastating effect on your health. A blood pressure screening should be done annually from age 18.  A normal reading is below 120/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Unfortunately, high blood pressure can happen without feeling any abnormal symptoms. Moderate or severe headaches, anxiety, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, palpitations, or feeling of pulsations in

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes your womb (also called the uterus), the organ that bleeds during menstruation, and where a baby grows when you are pregnant. Once you have had a hysterectomy you will no longer have your periods and you will not be able to become pregnant. WHAT TYPES OF HYSTERCTOMY ARE POSSIBLE? A total hysterectomy means removing the uterus and the cervix or mouth of the womb. A sub-total or supra-cervical hysterectomy means removing a part of the uterus, leaving the cervix (the part of the uterus that protrudes into the vagina) in place. A radical hysterectomy means removing the

WHAT IS TUBAL LIGATION (TL)? Tubal ligation is a minor surgical procedure also known as female sterilization, or having your tubes tied. During tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are cut, tied or blocked to permanently prevent pregnancy. In other words, it is a type of permanent birth control.  Tubal ligation mechanically interferes with conception. It prevents your eggs from traveling from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes and blocks sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes to the egg. IS TL GUARANTEED TO BE EFFECTIVE AGAINST FALLING PREGNANT? Tubal ligation is a safe and effective form of permanent birth control. However, there is

VACCINATION Q & A FOR PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING WOMEN The South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends that all pregnant and breastfeeding women should be vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves from severe disease. Considerable research has been undertaken on the safety of the vaccine and there is growing evidence about the safety for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Available information suggests that the benefits associated with receiving the COVID-19 vaccination far outweigh potential risks associated with vaccines or of contracting the virus. Below, please find answers to some of the most common questions asked by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Am I more

Open neural tube defects: Risk factors, prenatal screening and diagnosis   INTRODUCTION  Open neural tube defects (NTDs) are relatively common congenital anomalies that develop when a portion of the neural tube fails to close normally during the third and fourth weeks after conception (the fifth and sixth weeks of gestation). The resulting defect may involve the vertebrae, spinal cord, cranium, and/or brain.  The two most common NTDs are spina bifida (a spinal cord defect) and anencephaly (a brain defect). Two key advances related to open NTDs have occurred in recent decades: Folic acidfortification of commonly consumed foods (e.g., bread, flour, cornmeal, rice, pasta) and

I gave birth - why do I still look pregnant? It's comforting to see your toes again after giving birth. Your mountain size tummy has gone, but it comes as a shock when you stand up, and there's an abundance of flab wobbling around your belly. How long will it take to lose my tummy? The biggest culprit of the after-preggie belly is the womb and stretched abdominal muscles. It took nine long months for this whole stretching process to happen, and therefore it won't shrink back overnight. Getting your womb back to its original size may take around six weeks, but getting your figure back is going to take a bit longer. How much longer and how successful

What is human papillomavirus (HPV)? The human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for a common sexually transmitted infection that shares the same name. Most sexually active people are exposed to it at some point. There are different types of HPV, and some can increase the risk of cancer. Each year, around 19,400 females and 12,100 males in the U.S. develop cancers that stem from HPV. Treatments There is no way no way to cure HPV, to remove the virus from the body. However, a person can take various steps to remove the warts that HPV can cause. It is also worth noting that these warts often go away without treatment. Common