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Birth Control Archive


Vitamins and dietary supplements

Your daily diet should be the best source of the vitamins and minerals you need, but not always. Dr. Howard LeWine explains when vitamins and dietary supplements can be a benficial addition to your diet.

Do you need to gain weight to get pregnant?

If you're a lean woman having difficulty getting pregnant, you may have heard that you need to gain weight to get pregnant. Dr. Jorge Chavarro explains if this is true and what's actually ideal to achieve your pregnancy goal.

Understanding an ultrasound report

Your first ultrasound can be very exciting — and perplexing. If you need help understanding what will happen or guidance interpreting your ultrasound report, Dr. Peter Doubilet is here to give you a quick tour of the process.

Pregnancy after 35

It is true that a woman's risk of having a child with Down's syndrome increases after she turns 35. Dr. Peter Doubilet explains the test to screen for this and other chromosomal issues. Watch to learn more.

Does the pill decrease your libido?

The birth control pill, like any other pill, is a medication that brings with it the potential for side effects. For instance, it may decrease your libido. So what can you do? Dr. Teri Greco has some recommendations.

What can I do to increase my chances of conceiving?

Dr. Jorge Chavarro answers the question, "What can I do to increase my chances of conceiving?" Watch to find out what foods can help you to achieve your pregnancy goals.

The morning after pill: Options after unprotected sex

There are options after unprotected sex. Dr. Richard Zane explains the concerns and the choices. Watch now.

The no-period pill Lybrel V

If you've heard about Lybrel, the no-period pill, and wondererd about its safety, Dr. Julie Silver has the information you need. Watch to learn more about the benefits and risks of this oral contraceptive.

Making fertility-friendly lifestyle choices

If you are thinking about getting pregnant, you can do many simple, effective things right now to improve your chances of conception, because lifestyle can have profound effects on the reproductive functions of women and men. This means that increasing your fertility potential is something that you both can do without outside help. In addition to adopting a fertility-boosting diet and getting into the fertility zones for weight and exercise, there are a number of lifestyle choices you can make for improving fertility naturally.

Give up nicotine, marijuana, cocaine, and steroids

Tobacco smoking has been linked to reduced fertility in both women and men. In addition, a recent British study has found an association between smoking and stillbirths, low birthweight babies, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). A woman who smokes is likely to have less chance of becoming pregnant and giving birth when treated with in vitro fertilization (IVF) than a woman who doesn't smoke. This is especially true if she smokes twenty or more cigarettes a day. A mechanism that may link cigarette smoking and reduced pregnancy rates following IVF is the observation that smoking appears to accelerate the rate of egg loss. Women who smoke have the elevated hormone levels that indicate a depleted supply of eggs and prematurely aged follicles.

When You Visit Your Doctor - Pregnancy: 1st Trimester

Pregnancy: 1st Trimester

Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:

  • Your age and how it will affect your pregnancy.
  • Have you been pregnant before? If so, what was the outcome of each pregnancy. Did you have a full-term pregnancy (your baby was born close to your due date)? Did you give birth via a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section ("C-section") surgery? If you had a C-section, what type of C-section was it? Did any of your pregnancies end in miscarriage, voluntary abortion, or an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy?
  • Does this pregnancy come at a good time for you?
  • When was the first day of your last menstrual period?
  • What is the usual length of your menstrual cycle?
  • Do you have any medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, asthma, tuberculosis, epilepsy, or heart disease?
  • Have you ever had any sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, or human papilloma virus (HPV)?
  • Do any medical problems tend to run in your family such as sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, or hemophilia?
  • Are you taking any medications (including over-the-counter medications)? If so, what are they?
  • Do you smoke? If so, how many packs per day?
  • In an average week, how many alcoholic beverages do you consume?
  • Do you use any recreational drugs?
  • Did you have any problems getting pregnant?
  • Do you eat a well-balanced diet? Are you taking any vitamins, including folic acid (folate)?
  • Do you exercise regularly?
  • What is your home situation like? Who do you live with? Is your partner supportive of this pregnancy? If not, has your partner hit or threatened you?
  • Are you having any problems with morning sickness (that is, nausea and vomiting)?
  • Are you having any bleeding from your vagina?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Temperature, blood pressure, pulse, weight
  • Chest exam
  • Heart exam
  • Abdominal exam
  • Pelvic exam with Pap smear and cervical cultures
  • Leg exam

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:

  • Confirm pregnancy with blood or urine test
  • Complete blood count and blood type
  • Blood tests for syphilis, rubella antibodies, hepatitis B, HIV
  • Urinalysis
  • Portable Doppler instrument or stethoscope to measure fetal heart sounds
  • Urine culture
  • "Triple screen" (also known as "AFP-3" or "Enhanced AFP"
  • Genetic testing

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