ASK THE DOCTOR Is it dangerous to have sex during pregnancy?

Substances released during intercourse may cause unusually long sleep in a foetus, causing fear that sex affects the unborn child.

Doctor: Is it bad to have sex during pregnancy? I am giving up sex with my husband because when it happens, I take long to feel the baby move. Amoit

Dear Amoit: Though sex drive during pregnancy fluctuates, in normal pregnancy it is completely safe to have sex. In circumstances such as vaginal bleeding in pregnancy, a woman should forego sex as aised by an antenatal clinic.
Some people think that seminal fluids can harm the baby but what is true is that the baby is protected by a bag of membranes where it is and a plug of mucus that seals off the cervix from the vaginal canal.

A mother is happy to feel her baby move because then she will know that it is alive and well. Failure to feel foetal movements and the mother will think the baby is dead or unhealthy yet babies sleep most of their time in the womb, which is why they may not be felt to move.

Sex, especially when fulfilling, may cause the involved couple to sleep and not surprisingly, this may happen during the day because of associated fatigue.

Apart from the fatigue and the need to replenish energies, there is some biochemistry involving an orgasm itself. Women as well as men release substances into their blood including oxytocin the bonding hormone, prolactin, vasopressin and melatonin, the biological clock regulator all of which may lead to sleep. Some of these hormones can
find their way through the placenta and cause unusually long sleep in the foetus after sex.

Dear Doctor: There is cancer everywhere these days.Is it because of HIV infection?

Saulo Mpaata

Dear Saulo: Cancer has become more common these days because of lifestyle habits such as eating too much fat, salt, sugar, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking and sedentary lifestyle. Also, exposure to pollutants and chemicals has increased the likelihood of cancer. Changes in lifestyle can help reduce incidents of cancer. This includes regular physical activity and resorting to previous diets of the starchy staple foods, fruits and vegetables, low
intakes of animal products, fat, salt and sugar as well as avoiding too much alcohol (maximum one litre of 4.5 per cent beer per day for women and two litres for men) and stopping smoking. Though it may be difficult, exposure to pollutants and chemicals where possible should be avoided.

That said, some cancers, including one called Kaposi’s sarcoma, have increased because of HIV infection and in fact their presence may tell the extent of the HIV infection making it prudent to carry out an HIV test on the victim once they are found.

Dear Doctor: I am dry and have to use lubricants during sex. I have tried to have a baby in vain. Do lubricants affect one’s ability to get pregnant?


Dear Lydia: Lubricants are used by people who have problems in lubrication. The most common causes of lack of lubrication include lack of adequate foreplay, hormonal problems (low oestrogen as in menopause), pain as from an episiotomy scar, drugs such as piriton or cetrizine for a running nose,and an unhappy relationship.

It is also true that anxiety and stress from any cause and in your case due to suspected infertility, may lead to vaginal dryness. Many lubricants affect the acidity of the vagina and may cause motility problems in sperms hence keeping them longer in a hostile vaginal environment where they die or get maimed. Some lubricants are
meant to kill sperms. Thus for any woman trying to get pregnant she should avoid using lubricants.
The cause of vaginal dryness should be sought out and removed instead of using lubricants whose effect on sperms may be detrimental.

Dear Doctor: I had spots on my skin and was aised that it was a fungal disease called Pityriasis versicolor. I have treated with shampoo with no change and then tablets but still no change. Which drug can I use?

Bakka T

Dear Bakka: Pityriasis versicolor is seen as white patches on the skin and is more common in hot, humid climates or in those who sweat heavily. In the latter case, even with the best treatment, it may recur.
Caused by Malassezia this fungus produces substances that diffuse into the skin causing the black pigment cells(melanocytes) to fail to produce enough pigment turning into lighter patches.
In many people, ketoconazole shampoo may help but if it does not work then additional ketoconazole tablets may be given for a few days after which vigorous exercise an hour later and holding off showering for a few hours afterwards may help the medication to work as it comes out in the sweaty skin. That said the fungus often recurs when conditions are right for the malassezia which usually lives on the skin without causing problems but turns into a monster for unknown reasons. The obscure monster change may be the reason for the popular belief that ptyriasis may be associated with pregnancy in a sufferer’s aunt, a belief which is untrue.
The antifungal treatment should be repeated when pityriasis versicolor is suspected to have recurred and if this is too often, oral antifungal treatment may be used for one to three days each month as
Though the lightening of skin generally clears up with treatment and the skin eventually darkens normally with sun exposure, the marks may persist for unknown reasons or become permanent long after the fungus
is cured. In such cases, continuing antifungal treatment is unlikely to be helpful.
Pityriasis may resemble many disease conditions and whenever treatment seems not to help, it may be useful to visit the same doctor again for review.

Dear Doctor: I am eight months pregnant but I am HIV positive. Is it
true that my child once born should not be immunised against the six
killer diseases?

Dear Www: Every pregnant woman should attend an antenatal clinic so that her pregnancy is well managed for good delivery outcomes.
A pregnant woman with HIV infection should particularly attend such clinics so that aice and treatments are given to reduce the likelihood of her baby being born with or acquiring HIV during delivery or breastfeeding.

It is not true that every baby born to an HIV infected woman will come out with the infection and as such, an HIV infected woman should not fear to take her child for immunisation.

It is true that it may be a little risky to give babies born with HIV infection certain immunisations (live vaccines) but it is also true that immunisation can help prevent infections in such children. Babies whether born with HIV or not require immunisation to protect them from immunisable child killer diseases and one should desist from denying a
baby immunisation because she is HIV positive unless her doctor aises so. Please attend an antenatal clinic for further aice and management.

“When you feel bloated, drinking water can help. With a high-fibre diet, more water is needed for the gut to work more efficiently. Water mixes with water-soluble fibre, which affects the motility of the gut, reducing bloating. Drinking water also relieves bloating due to dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, the body clings to the available
water causing one to puff up.” Dr Vincent Karuhanga

SOURCE: Daily Monitor


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