No phase is just as simple. Be it the menstruating period of a woman’ s life or transiting into menopause.. a woman is bound to have some problem or the other.
Oh, while you might think- now finally no more of those troubles every month, some of us are lucky to transit smoothly into menopause while others might have a little bumpy ride down there. So, how about having a look at the commonest problem a woman faces during her menopause transition-The “Hot Flashes”. If only it was like “The Flash”, it would have been over before it started, but it doesn’t and that’s why we need to know about it. It is a fairly common problem that around 75% women face so don’t get worried about it. It is just a phase and you will get through it !
Recognize those Flashes!
So what is it like?? What most of the patients say is that they suddenly feel a lot of heat and then sweat like hell. And yes, that’s what it is.
It may last for 1-10 minutes, could be at times too.
The night sweats that occur could be really disturbing as it compromises on your sleep.
And occasionally, you might also have palpitations, tiredness and weakness.
What causes it??
As you transit into menopause, your body’s estrogen level starts to decline and this estrogen withdrawal from your body causes hot flashes.
Another factor that plays a role in it are those body temperature regulators in your body- the neurotransmitters. Any altered levels of these in body also leads to heat loss.
How can you prevent it?
Honestly, you cant prevent it completely if it is to occur.
But, you can help yourself to decrease these symptoms for a better life. And these are not some major changes- some healthy changes that everyone should incorporate in their lives.
- Weight bearing exercises, walking, jogging ( Overweight women and those who smoke are more prone to hot flashes)
- Reduce high coffee intake
- Stop smoking and intake of alcohol. If not stop, atleast reduce it.
- Have a nutritious diet balanced with calcium and proteins.
- Keep the room temperature on the cooler side.
- Wear light, layered clothing
- Soy protein has also been found to be effective in certain cases
- Take Vitamin E supplements as it reduces hot flashes by about 25%.
Yes this helps in menopausal women to overcome long term and short term consequences of estrogen deficiency, but has to be taken only after consultation with a doctor and weighing your pros and cons since it can be harmful in certain scenarios too. So let your doctor assess you and decide upon this based on your present and past medical condition.
Follow these tips and you will sail right through it !
Yes it can!
A new research by ” MiNESS study” has been published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology suggesting that the risk of stillbirth is doubled if pregnant women sleep on their backs in the last three months of pregnancy. This study is the biggest of its kind, and confirms the findings from smaller studies in New Zealand and Australia.
In 2015, there were 2.6 million stillbirths globally, with more than 7178 deaths a day. The majority of these deaths occured in developing countries. 98% occurred in low- and middle-income countries. About half of all stillbirths occur in the intrapartum period, representing the greatest time of risk.
Death of an unborn child is a devastating situation for both parents as well as the doctor involved. There are certain known factors like diabetes, hypertension, placental abruption and others we know that could be in the list of possible causes. But what about those cases where there were no warning signs, no complications and yet the baby stops moving all of a sudden! That is one nightmare each Obstetrician dreads- what could be the cause, did I miss something, what could possibly have gone wrong? And there is no answer at times. Even more horrifying for the to- be parents who have been planning out the name of the baby.
As they say about the drowning man catching straws, this bunch of straws we have through this study is a refreshing change. It estimates that if all pregnant women went to sleep on their side in the third trimester, there would be a 3.7% decrease in stillbirth – equivalent saving around 130 babies’ lives a year, which is a whole lot !
So what exactly is the logic of a simple sleeping position you may all ask? Well, the logic is that during the last 3 months of pregnancy when you lie supine/ on your back, the weight of the enlarged uterus along with the growing baby exerts pressure on one of your major vessel called the Inferior Vena Cava. Usually, when this compression effect takes place, the Inferior Vena Cava opens up branching vessels which take care of your blood supply during this period. It is when these branches fail to open up, that your blood supply gets seriously curtailed affecting the blood supply to uterus and restricting the oxygen flow to the fetus.
That is why, when you sleep on your sides, can be either your right side or left side, these complications can be prevented. This is a very simple thing that can be incorporated in daily life and prevent unforeseen stillbirths.
How can you check on yourself while you are sleeping? Difficult? Not to worry. Just take care of these simple tips that might help you keep it in check-
- Put pillows behind your back to encourage you to side- sleeping
- Go to sleep in any preferred side of yours
- If you wake up on your back at night, don’t worry. Just roll back on your sides.
- Even if you are taking a small nap during day, make sure of your side- sleeping position as much as you can.
- There are Maternity Sleeping pillows available- that may be helpful for those who find it really difficult to sleep on sides.
- Inform your family members about it- so that they can turn you back on your sides once they notice you on your back.
- And yes, its not like you cant lie on your back at all ! You can, just not for long periods. Try to keep it as minimum as possible. And as your pregnancy advances, you yourself will find lying on the sides better than on your back since lying straight also hinders with your respiration owing to your cute little baby growing inside you.
So take care of this small thing and continue your beautiful journey to the Motherhood !
We take care of ourselves so much yet end up neglecting one important aspect of us- Our personal genital hygiene- Some due to carelessness and some due to ignorance. What we don’t realize is that by following some small measures we can prevent a lot of troubles later on. Most of the infections down there are due to poor hygiene. So here I am listing you out all the latest guidelines recommended by Middle east and Central Asia relating to genital hygiene which covers up all aspects mostly:
- Use of bar soaps with alkaline pH should be avoided.
- Use of liquid soaps with lactic acid is known to maintain the skin pH and aid in effective development and maintenance of the skin cells- Use restricted to external use, not for vaginal douching.
- Tissue and wipes can also be considered for cleansing.
- Women may use odor controlling products like feminine deodorant sprays, body splashes, fragrances and feminine suppositories.
- Talcum powder for odor control can be used.
- Inserting a device inside vagina for flushing liquids inside is known as vaginal douching.
- Not recommended!
- Cotton undergarments only- breathable and renders circulation of air around external genitalia.
- Change undergarments regularly.
- Scented and colored toilet paper not recommended.
CARE DURING MENSTRUATION
Vaginal pH turns alkaline due to menstruation which causes heavy growth of non lactobacillus during day 1-5 of menstrual cycle.
Your vaginal flora gets instable due to this bacterial growth.
- Tampons (tubes inserted in vagina), sanitary napkins and menstrual cups can be used.
- Tampons and napkins shouldn’t be used for more than 6 hours.
- Menstrual cups can be kept in place for 24 hours.
PRE- COITAL CARE
Sexual intercourse can lead to transmission of bacteria, discharge, sweat, menses, urine and fecal waste into female genitals
- Prior to intercourse, clean external genitalia- vulva, folds of labia, clitoris.
- Dry the area properly.
- Avoid unnecessary cleaning and use of perfumes directly on skin.
POST COITAL CARE
- Pass urine.
- Clean the secretions.
- Dry the external genitalia.
- Wear comfortable undergarments.
MONS PUBIS HAIR CARE
- Shaving, trimming, clipping, depilation, waxing, electrolysis and laser technology.
- Trimming and clipping causes some adverse effects.
- Shaving may cause bumps on skin.
- Use of depilatories on regions outside bikini line can cause irritation.
- Waxing can uproot hair- results persist for a longer duration.
- Electrolysis- destroys hair root with electric current- pain, swelling, scarring and alterations in skin color may be seen.
- Laser technology- light passes through skin and is absorbed by melanin in hair follicles. Heat generated by laser breaks the follicle and hair falls out. Adverse effect included- increased sensitivity, occasional peeling, blistering and burning of skin.
Pregnant women are reported to be more prone to genital infections that may place both mother and fetus at risk
- Rinse external genital organs 2-3 times a day using warm water and cleansers containing lactic acid.
POSTPARTUM PERINEAL CARE
- Use of ice, ultrasonic therapy and leg elevation recommended after pregnancy.
- Regular cleansing, drying and using pads whenever required.
- Maintain dryness over the suture.
- DO NOT use creams over the suture.
HYGIENE FOR OLDER WOMEN
- Good hygiene practice.
- Regular doctor visits
- Whole body wash with water at room temperature.
- Heat baths (35-37 C).
- Staying in open air.
- Daily intimate washing with warm water.
Follow these simple things and stay clean and protected!
When it comes to drug or substance abuse among pregnant women, SMOKING is the most common one pointed out. This condition of smoking during the pregnancy period is very common in the west but it has been noticed that the incidence of smoking in pregnancy is increasing at a very rapid pace in India too.
Woman who smokes during the pregnancy have higher rate of miscarriage. Placental malfunction is the most common form of problems that occurs among the women who smoke as placenta plays an essential part during pregnancy and help in oxygen and nutrition flow. Placental Abruption which causes premature separation of placenta from the uterus. Placental Insufficiency may lead to cause improper supply of blood, oxygen and nutrition to the developing fetus (baby). Under-weight born babies can also be the result of smoking. Cot death is a syndrome which causes an unexplained sudden death of the newborn is very common among the women who smoke during the pregnancy.
Passive Smoking is also something which is worth mentioning in this discussion. Even though a woman is not smoking but if the environment surrounding her contains the the nicotine and carbon monoxide smoke which usually comes from cigarette, can cause almost the same effect on pregnancy.
Due to the above mentioned risks of smoking during pregnancy, its is our duty to persuade women to refrain from smoking. It can really be difficult for anyone to overcome this addiction, but it can never be difficult for a MOTHER.