Heartburn during pregnancy

Heartburn is a term used to describe a burning pain or discomfort in the chest and upper abdomen. The actual medical term for it is gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is quite common for pregnant women to experience the symptoms of heartburn, which usually come and go until delivery. It can start anytime during the pregnancy period and may worsen as the pregnancy progresses (second or third trimester). While it can be uncomfortable or painful, heartburn by itself will not harm the baby.

Symptoms and signs

  • Burning pain in the center of the chest and the upper abdomen, frequently accompanied by an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  • Belching (burping).
  • Nausea with or without vomiting.
  • Persistent throat irritation, with or without irritating dry cough.

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Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is one that develops outside the uterus. The egg (oocyte) and the sperm meet in the fallopian tube and fertilization occurs. The embryo is supposed to move back to the uterine cavity for implantation. However, in ectopic pregnancy this does not occur, and the embryo gets implanted elsewhere. The most common location is in one of the narrow tubes that connect each ovary to the uterus (fallopian tube). As the fertilized egg enlarges, the fallopian tube stretches and ruptures, causing life-threatening internal bleeding. Other locations include the ovary, cervix, space beside the uterus (broad ligament space) or in the abdominal cavity. About 1 in 100 pregnancies is an ectopic.

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS

The occurrence of ectopic pregnancy is usually associated with an abnormal function of the fallopian tubes. Hence, tubal pregnancy is the most common type. Hormonal imbalances or abnormal development of the fertilized egg might also play a role. Certain condition may predispose to a higher chance of ectopic pregnancy such as:

  • Previous abdominal or pelvic infection
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), involving the fallopian tubes
  • Pregnancy after tubal ligation
  • Assisted reproduction techniques such as in vitro fertilization.
  • Adhesions (bands of scar tissue) from previous pelvic surgery.
  • Previous tubal pregnancy.
  • History of endometritis (infection of the inner uterine lining)
  • Malformed (abnormal) uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Pregnant with an intrauterine device (IUD) in place (failure of IUD)

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COVID-19 and Pregnancy

We are now faced with an unprecedented pandemic due to the coronavirus. The COVID-19 is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Those infected may take up to 14 days to develop symptoms. The main mode of transmission is mainly through respiratory droplets and close contacts. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Routes of transmissions such as fecal-oral, in-utero from mother to baby and others are not confirmed yet. Some infected persons may be asymptomatic and they potentially can pass along the infection to others. However, this is less common. For more information about coronavirus, click here and here

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