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Birth Control Archive

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What you need to know about Zika virus

Published February 1, 2016

Zika, a formerly rare and obscure virus, has recently spread throughout the Pacific islands and the Americas. Although Zika virus rarely makes people seriously ill, it’s been implicated in a huge rise in the number of birth defects in babies born to mothers who’ve had Zika. Although its impact in the U.S. is expected to be much less severe than in warmer climates, we’ve listed some tips to reduce your exposure to the type of mosquito that carries Zika.

Teens and medicines that cause birth defects: Do doctors drop the ball?

Published January 19, 2016

Doctors may prescribe medicines for teenage girls — for example for acne, depression, or migraines — that are known to cause birth defects. While most parents and doctors hope that these young women avoid pregnancy for many reasons, adults need to help adolescent girls understand the risks of the medications they take and have frank conversations about sex and birth control.

How can I help my daughter deal with her miscarriage?

Updated January 16, 2016

Ask the doctor

Q. My daughter had a miscarriage a few months ago and since then she has been depressed and withdrawn. Do you know anything I can do to help?

A. Miscarriage can involve a difficult emotional recovery, and many women and their partners are surprised at the intensity of their feelings. Many women who have experienced a miscarriage feel that they have done something wrong. They may worry that the miscarriage resulted from stress or lifestyle choices they made during pregnancy. In fact, most miscarriages are the result of chromosomal abnormalities, structural abnormalities of the uterus, or maternal endocrine or autoimmune disorders.

Where is best for birth: Hospital or home?

Published January 14, 2016

By the mid-20th century, most births took place in the hospital. But increasingly, some women are choosing to have their babies at home in an effort to avoid seemingly unnecessary interventions and find an alternative to hospital environments. We don’t have the best data to assess the safety of home birth. But a recent analysis offers insights that can help women make choices based on what they value the most.

C-section rates: Consider this when deciding where to have your baby

Published January 8, 2016

For years, there has been concern about the high rate of cesarean births — but just how many cesareans are too many? A recent study suggests that a cesarean rate of 19% is about right. The reasons for high cesarean rates may be related more to each hospital’s circumstances and processes than to other, more commonly cited reasons. If you’re concerned, find out the C-section rate at the hospital where you plan to deliver your baby.

Yoga in pregnancy: Many poses are safer than once thought

Published December 29, 2015

Yoga can help relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress, all of which are common during pregnancy. A new study shows that many yoga poses are safe for mothers-to-be and their babies. However, pregnant women should take certain precautions when doing yoga — for example, avoiding heated yoga classes and being careful not to over-stretch. It’s also important for pregnant women to check with their doctors to be sure there are no underlying health concerns before starting yoga.

Miscarriage: Keep breaking the silence

Published November 10, 2015

Many public figures have begun speaking up about their experiences with miscarriage. While it’s wonderful that they’re breaking the silence, a recent survey has revealed that the general public still has a lot of misconceptions about this surprisingly common event. Dr. Hope Ricciotti shares her reactions to the survey results, and her advice to women experiencing miscarriage.

Treating unexplained infertility: Answers still needed

Published September 24, 2015

One of the most common treatments for unexplained infertility is ovulation induction, in which a woman takes drugs that will increase the number of eggs the ovary releases in the hope that at least one will result in a pregnancy. But when too many eggs are available for fertilization, the rates of high-risk multiple pregnancies go up. A recent study compared three drugs used for ovulation induction and found that the one more likely to result in a live birth was also more likely to result in a multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, or more). The options for treating unexplained infertility remain less than ideal, but careful choices mean that the pregnancies that do result will be safer for moms and babies.

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