Wednesday, 25 January 2017

10 COMMON CAUSES OF INFERTILITY IN WOMEN


STI/ STD's- sexually transmitted infections are linked to infertility especially when they are left untreated. Both gonorrhea and chlamydia are sexually transmitted bacterial infections and when left untreated can have devastating and long term effect to the reproductive health of a woman. The infection may ascend to involve the fallopian tubes especially in women who take long before they seek medical assistance or those who don't experience symptoms to warrant them seek medical assistance. When the fallopian tube are involved they swell and during healing a scar tissue is formed which blocks the tubes impeding passage of eggs and sperms. This causes infertility.

OBESITY- having an extra weight more than the healthy weight may make it difficult for a woman to conceive. Obese women may have hormonal imbalances which triggers both ovulation and menstrual flow problems. Moreover, obese women are at risk of miscarriages, gestational diabetes mellitus and premature labour.

LOW BODY MASS INDEX (underweight)- underweight women have been found to have low estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen primarily functions as a female sex hormone enhancing development of secondary sexual characterics. Extrapolating from this point, women who are underweight may have irregular menses or go through anovulatory period of 2-3 months which may make it difficult to conceive.

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VIGOROUS EXERCISE- exercise helps us keep fit and healthy. Vigorous exercise especially in athletes leads to depletion and low fat under the skin which may be another reason for infertility.

ADVANCED AGE- as women age the chances of them becoming pregnant gets less and when they become pregnant at an advanced age they are at increased risks of pregnancy related complications like miscarriage, abortions, high blood pressure and others. 

SMOKING- I had highlighted before the darkest side of active and passive smokers. Nicotine in tobacco has been found to interfere with body's ability to synthesize female hormone estrogen which is a significant hormone in ovulation. Female smokers have 60% more risk of being infertile than non-smokers. Passive smokers are not exceptional so ladies keep off from men who are smoking.

ALCOHOLISM- I had blogged on health effects of alcohol in pregnancy and there are more than just disabling effects of alcohol to unborn baby. Alcohol doesn't affect only female fertility but men's fertility also. There is an universal recommendation that all women intending to become pregnant should stop taking alcohol for the safety of the baby. There no clear evidence that alcoholism affects female fertility but there is a relationship.

BIRTH CONTROL METHODS- different women respond differently to different methods on contraception just like the same way we have vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The best thing is to find which method of family planning suits you best. Each family planning method has got its pros and cons. Depo-provera- an injectable contraceptive- is not recommended for people who are young, not had their first baby or those who are intending to become pregnant in near future. It is a three monthly injection but its contraceptive effect may persist for several months or more before return of fertility. 

GENETICS- genetic abnormalities can also impede a woman from conceiving, carrying pregnancy for 9 months or even prevent the fertilized ovum from being attached in the uterus leading to miscarriage. Just to digress slightly on this, women who have advanced in age may give birth to babies with genetic problem in which the baby may have extra number of chromosomes (down syndrome).

MEDICAL CONDITIONS- like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome

THYROID PROBLEMS- women who are infertile should be checked on their thyroid functions. 


RELATED POST:

Health Risks Of Alcohol In Pregnancy

References:-
Obesity and infertility- NCBI. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17982356

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

WEANING AND PROTEIN FOOD ALLERGY IN BABIES

INTRODUCTION


It is a universal recommendation that all babies should be exclusively breastfed or given infant formula milk up to the age of six months. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their babies unless there are special considerations since breast milk has been found to be more superior to infant formula milk.

Breastfeeding has been associated with better immunity for the infant, reduced risks of sudden infant death, increasing bonding between mother and baby and breastfed babies have higher IQ than babies fed on formulas.


WEANING

From 6 months, start weaning the baby from breast milk by gradually introducing solid diet. The digestive system for the baby is more developed now and can tolerate solid food in small amounts.


Start with soft diet like cooked mashed potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots and others. Remember that the baby will not start by taking large amounts but small amounts then supplemented with breast milk or milk formula as tolerated.

As the baby tolerates mashed soft diet, introduce finger licks like ripe bananas to enable them learn how chew.

At ages of 8 to 9 months, the baby has learned how to chew and may be appropriate time to introduced soft chewable food like soft chicken meat; fish (make sure there are no bones).

Introducing cow or goat milk has certain considerations. From 6 months of age cow’s milk can be mixed with other foods for the baby. Having cow’s or goat’s milk as a drink should begin from one year of age. Skimmed milk is not a good choice for children less than 5 years of age.



FOOD PROTEIN ALLERGIES IN BABIES.

Protein food allergies like milk, eggs and nut allergy seems to be getting common in babies than before. Allergy usually happens when the immune system registers the food protein as harmful and the body produces chemicals which produce signs of allergy.

Increasing hygiene standards have been hypothesized to be one of the contributing factors to development of allergy. Increasing cleanliness puts the immune system of babies at throes of under stimulation with less bacteria and viruses to fight. This may cause the under stimulated immune system to respond inappropriately to food proteins like milk, eggs or nuts causing an allergy.

There is this idea that delaying allergenic protein foods in babies like milk, eggs and nuts helps in prevention of allergy development in babies and children is no longer valid. At the age of six months when the baby is gradually being weaned from breast milk, give baby one protein at a time and watch closely for any sign of allergy. If the baby has an existing allergic condition, you may need to consult your pediatrician before introducing the protein foods to the baby. 

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 REFERENCE:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/solid-foods-weaning.aspx