Category: Health and Pregnancy

April 14th, 2016 by LiveMD

LiveMD discusses ovulation and fertility to help you increase your chances of becoming pregnant

What is Ovulation?

A woman’s body contains two ovaries, one on either side of the lower pelvis. These ovaries produce the eggs that are needed in order for a woman to become pregnant. When a woman is entering the fertile stage of her monthly cycle, an egg is released from one of these ovaries. The egg then travels down the fallopian tube, into the uterus, where it waits to become fertilized by a sperm. This process is called ovulation.

Ovulation occurs once a month, usually half-way through the menstrual cycle, 12 to 14 days before the next period will begin.

How can I Tell if I’m Ovulating?

Often it can be difficult to tell if you are ovulating so one of the best ways to tell is by keeping a calendar. Track all of your periods and if they are regular and predictable, you know that you should be ovulating in that 12-14 day window of time before your next period begins.

Some women can feel when they are ovulating. Often when an egg is released from the ovary, women can feel a twinge of pain or discomfort on one side of the pelvis or the other, depending on which ovary is releasing the egg that particular month. By paying close attention to how your body is feeling, especially around that fertile window of time, you may be able to feel when you are ovulating.

A more precise way of determining ovulation is by measuring your body temperature. Certain temperature fluctuations occur throughout a woman’s cycle and it is possible that by charting daily temperatures over the course of a few months, a woman is able to predict when her next ovulation will occur.

The easiest way to know whether you are ovulating or not is by purchasing an ovulation kit. These kits can usually be purchased at your local pharmacy. By using either urine or saliva samples, the kit can let you know whether or not you are ovulating and how good your chance of becoming pregnant are.

How can I Increase my Chances of Becoming Pregnant?

The best way to increase your chances of conception are to follow one of the methods above to determine when you may be ovulating. Pregnancy can only occur during ovulation so it is important that you and your partner are both ready for intercourse during that small window of time. The more times that you are intimate during that possible ovulation period, the better your chances of pregnancy. A sperm can survive inside a woman’s uterus for 3 to 6 days and is still capable of fertilizing an egg once it is released, even if ovulation has not yet occurred at the time of intercourse.

If you and your partner are considering starting a family and have questions about becoming pregnant and what to expect after you have conceived, the gynecologists and obstetricians at LiveMD have the experience and knowledge to answer all of your questions. They are available online, right now, for a live video chat or by text message and can give you the advice you need right away. Visit www.mylivemd.com.

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Posted in Health and Pregnancy

April 12th, 2016 by LiveMD

post_pregnancyAfter having a baby your body goes through many changes. LiveMD gives you advice on what changes your body may experience after giving birth.

  1. Belly Weight – Most women expect that their stomach will quickly return to normal almost immediately after giving birth. This however is not usually the case. It can take 6-8 weeks for a woman’s enlarged uterus to return to it’s pre-pregnancy size and often times much longer for a woman to lose the extra weight that was gained during pregnancy. Also, since the skin of the stomach was stretched, a woman may experience loose skin that may be able to be toned with exercise or may never go away entirely.
  2. Decreased Sex Drive – Doctors usually recommend abstaining from sex for at least 6 weeks after delivery however some women find that they are uninterested in sex for long after that. After giving birth your body is experiencing many different hormonal changes and along with hectic days and sleepless nights, intimacy is usually not a priority for many women. This decline in sex drive may last for months.
  3. Change in Shoe Size – 60-70 percent of women will experience an increase in their shoe size after giving birth to their baby. There are two reasons that this may occur. One is that the increase in hormones that a woman experiences when she is pregnant may contribute to a slight growth in foot size. The other reason is that the extra weight that a woman carries during pregnancy may cause the feet to flatten out, making them longer.
  4. Incontinence – Loss of bladder control is quite common after giving birth. Due to the amount of pressure that was exerted on the bladder for 9 months and the possible trauma to the bladder that may have been experienced during childbirth, it is possible for a woman to experience urinary incontinence for either a short time or sometimes long term after delivery.
  5. Hair Loss – Postpartum hair loss can occur in new mothers in the first 3 to 6 months after childbirth. Hair may be lost a bit at a time or may fall out in clumps. This is normal and is due to the hormonal changes that your body experiences after delivery. Once hormone levels return to normal, your hair should return to normal as well.
  6. Change in Breast Size – When breastfeeding, a new mother can expect that her breast size will increase. However, after a baby stops breastfeeding changes in the breast may be observed. A woman may experience saggier skin, larger breasts or smaller breasts than before. All of these changes are quite common and perfectly normal.

Are you expecting, have recently given birth or are nursing a new baby? If you have questions or need the advice of a professional, LiveMD is here to help. Visit www.mylivemd.com today and speak to one of our doctors about all of your pregnancy and childcare concerns.

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Posted in Health and Pregnancy

February 8th, 2016 by LiveMD

pregnancy_painPregnancy can be a wonderful experience but along with it can come many unusual and sometimes uncomfortable sensations. LiveMD has the answers to your most common questions about pregnancy pains.

Will I Experience Gas Pain?

It is extremely common for pregnant women to experience pain due to an increase in intestinal gas. Due to certain hormonal changes, food takes longer to digest when pregnant and therefore more gasses build up, causing cramping and pain. This discomfort can be in the abdomen or can even move to the chest, back or shoulders.

Will I become constipated when I am pregnant?

Constipation is a very common complaint among pregnant women. It can cause discomfort, dull cramping or sharp pains usually in the lower abdomen. Constipation can be prevented by eating a diet that is rich in fibre and drinking plenty of water. If it does occur, a doctor should be able to recommend an over-the-counter treatment.

Will it be painful as my stomach expands?

There are two ligaments in the groin area that help to support the uterus. As the baby grows and the womb expands, these muscles must stretch which can sometimes be uncomfortable. The sensation may be a dull ache or a sharp pain and may be felt in the groin, abdomen or hips. It may also be felt when standing up, sitting down, coughing or sneezing.

Will my back hurt when I am pregnant?

Almost all women will experience back pain to some degree when they are expecting a child. Due to the additional weight that you are carrying as the baby grows and the usual posture that you stand and sleep in it is difficult to avoid back pain completely. By managing your weight, wearing supportive shoes, getting lots of rest and elevating your feet, you may be able to reduce your discomfort.

What are Braxton hicks?

Usually about midway through pregnancy, the body begins to prepare itself for the upcoming labour and delivery of the baby. One of the ways that it does this is to flex and contract the muscles of the uterus in an attempt to strengthen them for the big day. They are usually sporadic and infrequent and only last a few seconds, unlike real labour contractions which come in regular intervals and last much longer. Braxton hicks contractions are usually painless and feel more like a tightening sensation that spreads downwards and can cause your abdomen to feel tight and hard. These contractions are very weak and are not strong enough to be able to push the baby out.

When should I contact the doctor?

If at any time during your pregnancy you are concerned, have any questions or are in pain, it is recommended that you contact a doctor. A good obstetrician or gynecologist will be able to give you advice and treatment options to make your pregnancy as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

LiveMD has a qualified staff of doctors including gynecologists that are waiting to help you with any issues that you may be experiencing while expecting. Visit www.mylivemd.com to talk to our doctors by phone, video, or text.

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Posted in Health and Pregnancy

February 5th, 2016 by LiveMD

pregnancy3

Along with pregnancy comes many different changes to a woman’s body, the most visible being those to her skin. Due to many factors, including fluctuations in hormone levels, a woman can experience an increase in skin oil production, redness and rashes, acne and stretch marks.

LiveMD has all of the information on what to expect and how to properly care for your skin when you are expecting.

Pregnancy and Acne

When a woman becomes pregnant, hormone levels rise which causes an increase in the amount of oil that the skin produces. Often women are said to have a certain “glow” when they are expecting and this can be due to the shine that this excess oil leaves on the skin. Too much oil, however, can begin to clog pores and cause acne to develop. This problem can be alleviated by washing your face regularly with a mild cleanser and patting it dry. Avoid using any medicated products and check with your doctor before applying any topical remedies.

Rashes and Irritation

Due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy a woman’s skin can become much more sensitive than usual. Redness, allergies, itching and rashes are common occurrences. They may come and go and the cause of them may remain unknown. If you do know what has caused the irritation it is best to stay away from it. If you are experiencing a rash or allergy a consultation with your doctor is the best course of action. They will be able to prescribe the appropriate therapy for your specific condition.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are thin, red or brown lines that appear on the skin. They are a result of the skin stretching too quickly and are commonly found on the stomach, hips, thighs and breasts. The majority of pregnant women will experience stretch marks and although they are not completely avoidable, rubbing a vitamin E cream on the skin and avoiding rapid weight gain may help to decrease their severity. These marks will diminish after birth and will turn to a thin, pink or silver line.

Linea Nigra

Many women will experience a dark line that runs up the center of their stomach, called a linea nigra. This dark area of pigmentation occurs when the stomach muscles begin to slightly separate to allow the womb to expand and accommodate the growing baby. This line will usually fade within a few weeks of delivery.

Pigmentation Changes

Again, because of hormonal changes in the body, a pregnant woman may experience changes in colour of her skin. Areas like the nipples may become darker or brown or white patches may appear on the face and neck. This condition is called chloasma or the “mask of pregnancy”. Exposure to the sun will make this condition worse and therefore sunscreen should always be used and time in the sun should be limited.

Any skin discolorations should disappear in a few months after pregnancy.

LiveMD has all of the skin care solutions that you require. If you or a loved one has questions about pregnancy and your skin, our trained physicians and dermatologists have the answers that you need. Contact us today for a consultation at www.mylivemd.com

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Posted in Health and Pregnancy