First off, congratulations on giving up smoking. The hazards of tobacco use during pregnancy--including low birth weight and preterm labor--are well-established. There has not been a great deal of research done about the safety of nicotine-replacement products in pregnant women. I therefore agree with the majority of physicians who vigorously recommend that smoking-cessation products such as gum and patches be discontinued during pregnancy.
An ectopic, or "tubal," pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg becomes implanted in an area other than the uterus. Ectopics occur in one of the two fallopian tubes 95 percent of the time; these cases usually are due to scarring from an earlier pelvic infection or inflammation. The remaining 5 percent occur on an ovary or, rarely, elsewhere in the abdominal cavity.
Contracting chickenpox during pregnancy can have serious effects on a fetus, so it is best to know your immune status prior to conceiving. Immunity can be conferred in two ways: either by having had the illness or by being vaccinated against it. If you are uncertain whether you are immune to chickenpox, a simple blood test can tell.
A blighted ovum occurs when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall, but the embryo does not develop. So even though the body's baby-making machinery is in place--an egg has been fertilized, a gestational sac and placenta are forming, and symptoms of pregnancy may be occurring--the embryo itself stops growing. Experts aren't sure why, but they suspect that chromosomal abnormalities may be the primary cause.
Studies have shown that any breast surgery, including biopsy, reduction or augmentation, may result in inadequate milk supply. Experts aren't sure why augmentation might have this effect, but there's speculation that the surgery could cause damage to the milk ducts or that pressure from the implants could harm the breast tissue. Whether the implants are saline or silicone doesn't seem to affect nursing success, but the incision location does.
When Ronda Kelly, A 5-foot-5-inch jewelry designer in Portland, Ore., began trying to get pregnant more than three years ago, she weighed 110 pounds and hadn't had a menstrual period in 15 years. Gaining just 8 additional pounds helped Kelly, then 34, start having regular periods again, yet it still took a total of a year of trying and, finally, intra-uterine insemination to conceive her daughter, Lauren, now 2 1/2.
Perhaps. While some studies have shown a 70 percent to 75 percent success rate in using timed intercourse to determine gender, other research has shown no influence.
Here's the theory behind timed intercourse: A child's gender is determined by a pair of chromosomes: XX for a female and XY for a male. Since a woman's eggs contain only an X and the man's sperm contain either an X or a Y, the sperm is the de facto decision maker regarding gender.
In more than 100 years of observing women having children, physicians and medical researchers have noted that the natural timing between pregnancies for healthy women who are breastfeeding and not using birth control tends to be between 18 and 24 months. What's more, a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that spacing pregnancies less than 18 months or more than 59 months apart appears to be associated with a greater risk of problems such as preterm birth and low birth weight.
While inconvenient and uncomfortable, yeast infections--which are caused by an overgrowth of a fungal organism normally found in small numbers in the vagina--do not affect fertility or your ability to have a safe pregnancy and delivery. If you continue having such infections once you're pregnant, your doctor will likely recommend an anti-fungal agent that's inserted into the vagina; the medication is not absorbed into the bloodstream and is therefore safe for expecting moms. Also avoid douching, and wear cotton underwear.