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Welcome to Health Goes Female. Our current state in health and fitness may come from different decisions we make. Women are prone to committing a number of health and fitness mistakes throughout their life. To help the average woman achieve their goals, we provide information and tips ranging from diet to exercise regimen.
Benefits for your health and beauty
ORAL CONTRACEPTION: Myths and Misconceptions
We wanted to start the monthly topic of “Contraception Myths” to dispel so many of the misconceptions women have about using various forms of contraception.
We hope that this short question and answer format series clears up some questions you yourself may have had and that have prevented you from using a reliable and safe form of contraception.
MYTH: COMBINED ORAL CONTRACEPTION (BIRTH CONTROL PILLS THAT HAVE BOTH ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE) AFFECT MY ABILITY TO GET PREGNANT IN THE FUTURE.
Answer: A woman can get pregnant once she goes off “the pill” is quite quickly. It actually takes around two weeks for a woman to resume her period once she goes off the pill.
Studies show a conception range from 72% to 94% in the first year after a woman stops taking her birth control pills.
MYTH: IF I GET PREGNANT ON BIRTH CONTROL PILLS IT WILL HARM MY BABY.
Answer: Women who get pregnant while taking the pill do not have higher rates of spontaneous abortion, preterm deliveries, birth defects or pregnancy related complications than women who are not taking birth control pills.
Your healthcare provider will advise you to stop taking your pill if you do become pregnant and begin your prenatal care.
Pregnancy and Your Body
When a woman is pregnant, many dynamic processes take place in her body that she may or may not be aware of. Here are 12 things that expectant mothers may not realize are taking place in her body:
1. YOUR BREASTS BECOME TENDER.
One of the very first symptoms a woman experiences is very sore breasts. Changes in the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone necessary to prepare your breasts to produce milk result in tender, sore breasts.
2. YOUR NIPPLES PROTRUDE.
Changes in these hormones can also make your nipples protrude more than usual. In addition, they too can be incredibly tender during this period.
3. YOUR AREOLAS (AREA AROUND THE NIPPLES) GET DARKER AND LARGER.
Your areola (the dark around your nipple) can get darker and may actually increase in size.
4. YOU MAY HAVE MORE SALIVA.
Although experts do not know the absolute reason for the increase in saliva reported in early pregnancy, we do believe that hormone changes may be the culprits. Women who have nausea with their pregnancy tend to report this sensation more frequently than women who do not experience much nausea with their pregnancy.
5. YOU MAY EXPERIENCE MORE CONSTIPATION.
An increase in the levels of the hormone progesterone. The increase in this hormone helps your uterus to relax preventing contractions before labor. The downside is that all your muscles to relax decreasing the amount that your intestines “move” resulting in constipation.
Hemorrhoids are veins located in and around your rectum that can become swollen during pregnancy causing pain and itching. Thankfully, these symptoms tend to resolve after pregnancy.
7. YOU MAY FEEL MORE CONGESTED.
Some women experience sinus congestion during pregnancy. The hormone estrogen can cause your mucous membranes located in your nose to swell which can lead to congestion and even nose bleeds.
8. YOU MAY HAVE MORE HEARTBURN.
Changes in the hormone progesterone can relax a muscle located in your esophagus causing acid from your stomach to end up in your esophagus leading to heartburn.
9. YOU MAY HAVE ACNE OUTBREAKS.
Sadly, changes in the levels of your hormones can stimulate your sebaceous glands resulting in acne. Unfortunately, some of the medication used to treat acne is contraindicated in pregnancy but thankfully, your skin improves after you give birth.
10. YOUR SENSE OF SMELL MAY INCREASE.
Increased levels of estrogen are linked to a pregnant woman’s ability to smell what’s for dinner at the neighbor’s house.
11. YOU MAY FEEL MORE “GASSY”.
As progesterone and another hormone by the name of relaxin slow things down including your gastrointestinal muscles your body forms more gas resulting in unpleasant situations.
12. YOUR FEET MAY SWELL.
As your uterus increases in size, the pressure on your blood vessels decreases the amount of blood that is redistributed to your legs resulting in the fluid shifts in your body that lead to swollen legs.
Depo-Provera (DMPA), sometimes referred to as “the shot” prevents pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation, thickening and decreasing the cervical mucus that will hinder sperm penetration.
DMPA is really effective and when used properly (shot in the arm every three months). Your risk of getting pregnant after the shot is only 0.2%.
Some of the advantages of using this form of contraception are:
1. EFFECTS ARE REVERSIBLE.
Although ovulation may not return for up to 10 months from your last injection, there is no long term harm of using this form of contraception.
2. YOU ARE DONE FOR THREE MONTH!
One injection provides contraception for three months.
3. REQUIRES INFREQUENT DOSING.
You don’t have to worry about contraception on a daily basis.
4. NO ESTROGEN.
Not all women can have estrogen based contraception due to their medical history and this provides a great alternative.
5. ABSENCE OF MENSTRUAL BLEEDING.
DMPA causes women to have either very light periods or to not have periods all together.
Make sure you are prepared with a list of questions regarding your contraception options at your visit and be prepared to discuss your health history. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the right form of contraception based on your individual needs.
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