Many women suffer from long-term health conditions that can affect their chances of getting pregnant. However, a good number of women with health issues can go on to achieve healthy pregnancies and babies. There are certain risks and complications involved, but talking to your doctor before getting pregnant can ensure that both the mother and baby are well.
Here are some common health conditions and steps to control them during pregnancy:
Asthma doesn’t affect a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Most women with the condition will go on to have a normal pregnancy. It is important that your condition is well managed. If you’re planning to get pregnant, talk to your doctor as:
- Your symptoms may get worse during pregnancy
- Your treatment might need to be reviewed
- If not controlled, asthma during pregnancy can increase the risk of complications such as pre-eclampsia and premature birth
- More precautions may be needed during labor
Talk to your doctor about managing your condition during pregnancy. Most asthma medications are safe to use in pregnancy. If your condition is controlled, there is little risk for you or your baby. Make sure you tell your doctor if you feel your symptoms are getting worse.
If you have asthma, there is also a small risk that your baby may also be born with the condition. This is more likely if you smoke during pregnancy or if your baby is born prematurely.
Fibroids refer to non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the womb (uterus). Most women do not experience any symptoms of fibroids, but they can be problematic in certain cases. Whether you will have problems depends on things like where your fibroids are in your body and how big they are. A woman with large fibroids can suffer from infertility. Taking medication for fibroids doesn’t prevent you from getting pregnant. But if you use injected progestogen, it can delay pregnancy for up to 12 months after stopping it. If fibroids are present during pregnancy, it can sometimes lead to problems like stomach pain during pregnancy, premature labor, need for caesarean section, miscarriage, or bleeding after birth. If you have fibroids and want to get pregnant, talk to your doctor about more information and advice.
Having an overactive thyroid gland or an underactive thyroid gland can affect female fertility. This means it may be more difficult to get pregnant. But there is no reason why you should not have a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby if your condition is under control. If you have an overactive or underactive thyroid, and you’re planning to get pregnant, talk to your doctor about it. They may refer you to an endocrinologist who may conduct some tests to assess your thyroid function. Make sure your condition is well controlled before you conceive.
If an underactive thyroid is not well controlled in pregnancy, it can increase the risk of gestational diabetes. If an overactive thyroid is not well controlled in pregnancy, it can increase the risk of pre-eclampsia, miscarriage, premature birth, or baby being born with low birth weight.
If you have diabetes, it is very important to talk to your doctor if you are thinking about having a baby. There are some things that you should do before you get pregnant, in order to reduce your risk of pregnancy complications and baby loss. Make sure you are as healthy as possible before you conceive, and while you are pregnant. While all pregnancies come with some risks, the level of risk is higher with diabetes. There are a lot of things you can do to reduce the same. This includes:
- Get your HbA1C to the recommended level
- Check blood glucose levels
- Take a higher dose of folic acid
- Check your medication
- Get your eyes and kidneys tested
- Adjust your lifestyle
Speak to your doctor if you have any questions or getting pregnant while you have diabetes.
Most women with epilepsy go on to have a healthy pregnancy. However, it can have an effect on your fertility and there are also some risks involved with epilepsy medication and baby’s development in the womb. There are things that you can do to help you and your baby stay as healthy as possible. This is why getting medical help is important before you plan on getting pregnant. Remember that you should not stop taking epilepsy medication before speaking to your doctor about it. They will recommend the safest option for you and your baby.
Treatment for cancer involves chemotherapy where medication is used to kill cancer cells. If you have cancer, you should avoid getting pregnant or fathering a child during treatment because the medicines used could harm the baby. Use contraception during this time. Certain chemotherapy medicines can also reduce fertility in men and women. This is often temporary, but can also be permanent in some cases. If possible, talk to your doctor before starting chemotherapy and ask if your fertility will be affected by the treatment. Your options may include freezing eggs to be used later in in-vitro fertilization (IVF). In case of men, they may have the option of freezing a sample of their sperm to be used for artificial insemination after chemotherapy.
Most doctors advice women to wait 2 years after chemotherapy before getting pregnant. This is because if the cancer were to come back, it would most likely do so within 2 years.
These are some of the many health conditions that can impact your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about it and find the right treatment for your specific condition. Our experts at KIMS Cuddles can help you manage your ongoing health conditions and help you achieve a healthy pregnancy.