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Pregnancy Health

Early Cramping in Pregnancy – Is It Normal?

Early Pregnancy and Cramping

Whether mild or severe, cramping in early pregnancy is naturally alarming. If you’ve never been pregnant before, you may be worried that you’re going to miscarry. Fortunately, in most cases, cramping in early pregnancy is normal. But if you have severe cramping that is accompanied with vaginal bleeding, it can be a sign of a complication.

Cramping in early pregnancy can be light, or severe. Sometimes, light cramping signals implantation – one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Cramping may also be a sign of your uterus stretching to accommodate your developing baby. Other times, cramping can be a sign that you will have a miscarriage, or you have an ectopic pregnancy.

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hCG Levels in Pregnancy

hcg levels and pregnancyHuman chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG for short) is the unique pregnancy hormone that is produced by the cells of the placenta. hCG is needed to maintain the pregnancy and it also aids with fetal development. Experts theorize that this special hormone also plays a role in suppressing a pregnant woman’s immune system (so that her body doesn’t reject the developing baby as an “intruder.”)

Over-the-counter home pregnancy tests work by checking for the presence of hCG in a woman’s urine. If there’s any hCG in a woman’s body, she is indeed pregnant. Although hCG has been building up since conception, a urine pregnancy test won’t be able to pick up any hCG levels until 12 to 14 days after conception – around the time of a woman’s missed period.

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Chicken Pox in Pregnancy

pregnancy chicken poxAlthough we normally think of chickenpox as a harmless childhood disease, it is a highly contagious viral illness that can pose dangers and risks to your unborn baby – if you catch it for the first time during pregnancy.

According to national data in the pre-vaccine era (before 1995), an estimated 95 percent of all Americans caught the chickenpox before age 20. After the chickenpox vaccine (varicella vaccine) was introduced in 1995, the rates of chickenpox have decreased dramatically. Studies have indicated the varicella vaccine may protect from chickenpox for at least 11 years.

Once you catch chickenpox, the virus stays dormant or asleep in your body for the rest of your life. In other words, you are immune from the virus and cannot catch it again.

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Fibroids in Pregnancy: Should You Worry?

pregnancy with fibroids, Having anything that complicates your pregnancy is scary. Fibroids, however, don’t have to be one of them. Many women who have fibroids in pregnancy have no trouble, and they deliver perfectly normal babies. However, being pregnant with fibroids does put you at risk for potential complications – including pain, bleeding, placental problems, preterm labor, and problems during childbirth. Because of the risk for pregnancy complications, your doctor will monitor your pregnancy closely and offer a treatment plan based on the size and location of your fibroids.

Try not to worry, though. Fibroids often don’t interfere with your pregnancy. You may not even need any treatment for them. Even with fibroids, you still have a good chance of having a healthy baby.

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