Pregnancy is a very special stage in a woman’s life. It is usually full of hope for the arrival of the baby, but it is also often accompanied by worries about motherhood and health problems. In fact, the changes that occur in the pregnant body make it more prone to some health problems.
In most cases, these are not serious problems and usually disappear after delivery. However, sometimes it is necessary to treat them to prevent them from getting worse and becoming a risk for the pregnancy or a significant impediment to the day-to-day life of the future mother.
The most common discomforts that affect pregnant women
It is estimated that more than 90% of pregnant women experience considerable fatigue during pregnancy that affects their daily performance. Since your body is working overtime to feed your baby, it’s not surprising that you feel tired a lot, especially during the first trimester. Trying to rest, having as restful sleep as possible and taking it easy from day to day are some strategies to avoid further fatigue.
However, it’s important not to dismiss this symptom as severe fatigue during pregnancy has been linked to increased labor pain and postpartum depression. In addition, in some cases, fatigue can be a symptom of anemia, a relatively common health problem during pregnancy due to low iron levels, which decreases the ability of your red blood cells to carry oxygen. The good news is that a simple blood test will be enough to detect if you have anemia.
The pressure that the belly puts on the rectum and intestines can affect digestion and bowel movements, making constipation one of the most common problems during pregnancy. In addition, the increase in progesterone causes a decrease in muscle tone and reduces the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, which facilitates constipation. Added to this are dietary changes, such as increased protein and fat intake to meet the baby’s nutritional needs, which further slow down digestion.
Therefore, it is not uncommon for a quarter of pregnant women to suffer from constipation. This alteration is usually maintained about three months after delivery since it is not so easy to recover normal gastrointestinal function, as revealed by a study conducted at the University of Iowa . Drinking more fluids, engaging in regular low-intensity exercise, and including more fiber in your diet are some strategies to relieve constipation during this stage.
At the end of pregnancy, it is not uncommon for women to suffer from hemorrhoids. This is due to the increased pressure of the belly on the rectum and perineum, as well as the increased blood volume and, above all, constipation itself. In fact, the risk of continuing to have hemorrhoids after childbirth is doubled in women who have suffered from constipation during pregnancy. Although it is not usually a serious condition, it is extremely annoying.
For this reason, in acute cases , topical medications with analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects are usually recommended, providing local relief of discomfort and pain. Because they are used in small doses and have limited systemic absorption, they can be used by pregnant women, according to the Canadian College of Family Physicians . However, they also warn that they should be used with caution as their safety during pregnancy has not been thoroughly documented.
4. Varicose veins
Did you know that women who have been pregnant are 82% more likely to develop varicose veins compared to those who have not had children? During the last months of pregnancy, varicose veins may appear on the legs and around the vaginal opening. Varicose veins cause a feeling of heaviness and tiredness in the legs, although sometimes they can also be accompanied by a dull and deep pain.
A study conducted at the University of Heidelberg revealed that varicose veins could be due to a confluence of factors. One of them is the high levels of progesterone and estrogen, which could exert a degenerative effect on the venous system. Progesterone, for example, inhibits smooth muscle contraction, while estrogen causes vasodilation. Both mechanisms could lead to insufficiency caused by increased capacity and dilation of the venous system. Added to this is the weight of the uterus, which can obstruct venous blood flow, leading to increased hydrostatic pressure in the leg veins.
To treat this problem, it is recommended to wear compression stockings, practice physical exercise such as swimming, keep your legs up when you rest and, if the discomfort is intense, the doctor may recommend the use of venotonic drugs to improve circulation.
5. Vaginal infections
About half of pregnant women can develop a vaginal infection during pregnancy. Hormonal changes and increased vaginal discharge make them more susceptible to infections, which are characterized by a thick, whitish discharge accompanied by itching.
However, reproductive tract infections can not only cause considerable discomfort, but can also have adverse effects during pregnancy and childbirth. A study published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth linked them to an increased risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, premature rupture of membranes, pelvic inflammatory disease, and miscarriage. Therefore, if you suspect that you have a vaginal infection, do not turn a deaf ear and go to the doctor.
With the pandemic, many medical appointments have been delayed and it is likely that you will not be very excited about going to face-to-face consultations that are not essential due to the risk of contagion, but it is important that you do not self-medicate since even the medications that you have always consumed They can affect the course of the pregnancy and the baby.
If the appointment with the doctor who monitors your pregnancy takes a long time, on sites like Dokter online you can consult your case with a registered doctor who will recommend the most appropriate treatment and can write you a prescription, if necessary.
The interesting thing about this platform is that it sends that prescription to a partner pharmacy within the European Union, which will then send the medicine to your home. This way you will not have to leave your home and you will be able to receive the medicines with the certainty that they are safe and original. In fact, they have a section dedicated exclusively to the stage of pregnancy and lactation.