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Results for search "Women's Problems: Misc.".

Health News Results - 430

WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Physical fitness is good for the heart, brain and overall health. But a specific type called cardiorespiratory fitness may help predict the odds of having a heart attack, especially for women, new research shows.

Higher cardiorespiratory fitness translated to lower heart attack risk, with women appearing to benefit the mo...

TUESDAY, April 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Here's bad news for some women in the military: An increased risk of minor birth defects was found among U.S. female veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War.

Researchers examined data on minor and major birth defects among 788 children born to 522 Gulf War-era female and male veterans who were and were not deployed during the war. Women accounted f...

TUESDAY, April 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday announced a ban on the sale of all pelvic mesh products.

The surgical mesh is typically used to repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and incontinence, but reported side effects have included permanent incontinence, severe discomfort and an inability to have sex.

"In order for these mes...

FRIDAY, April 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A drug touted as a "female Viagra" can cause severe low blood pressure and fainting when used with alcohol, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

As a result, the agency has ordered the drug's maker Sprout Pharmaceuticals to make a safety labeling change to Addyi (flibanserin).

The boxed warning, contraindication, warnings an...

WEDNESDAY, April 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite years of being told that the lower your LDL cholesterol the better, is it possible that levels that are too low might harm you?

Yes, say researchers who now report that women who have excessively low LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels may face a higher risk for a bleeding stroke.

The finding runs counter to government guidel...

MONDAY, April 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A group representing U.S. family doctors issued updated mammography guidelines Monday, adding to an ongoing debate over how early and how often women should be screened.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) now recommends a mammogram every other year for women ages 50 to 74 who are at average risk for breast cancer and have no symptoms.

MONDAY, April 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Scotland is already seeing a payoff for vaccinating adolescent girls for human papillomavirus (HPV).

Since the vaccine became routine about a decade ago, cervical cancer cases in young Scottish women have plummeted, a new study reports.

HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Vaccination protects against HPV t...

FRIDAY, April 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Older black American women are much less likely to be treated for heart attack and heart disease than white and Hispanic women, researchers say.

"Our study shows that black women still receive less recommended therapy for heart attacks and coronary heart disease than white women, and that improving these racial disparities is still needed," sa...

WEDNESDAY, April 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The protection that birth control pills offer against ovarian cancer is strongest with the most aggressive forms of the disease, a new study says.

For several years, researchers have noted that women who have used oral contraceptives are less likely to develop ovarian cancer. This study took a closer look at that link.

Researchers...

TUESDAY, April 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new study may help resolve a longstanding debate around the impact of surgery for a common form of advanced breast cancer.

The study found that mastectomy may indeed boost the chances of survival for women with stage 4 (advanced) HER2-positive breast cancer.

Twenty to 30% of all newly diagnosed stage 4 breast cancer cases are ...

MONDAY, April 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For pregnant women, a C-section carries a higher risk of severe complications than a vaginal delivery, particularly after age 35, a new study finds.

The researchers said that cesarean deliveries appear to cause an overall 80% increased risk of severe maternal complications when compared with vaginal delivery.

For women 35 or old...

WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There's good news for women battling a particularly difficult form of advanced breast cancer.

In a new study of patients with so-called "hormone receptor-positive" breast cancer that's spread beyond the breast, women who received a combo of two anti-estrogen drugs right away lived many months more than those who got just one drug, the rese...

WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that the fewer menstrual periods a woman has in her lifetime, the higher her risk of dementia -- though the reasons, for now, are unclear.

The study was based on close to 16,000 women. It found that those who started having periods at age 16 or later were more likely to develop dementia than women who started menstruat...

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Stressful life events were linked to higher incidents of heart attack, stroke and other types of cardiovascular disease in black women, according to new research that also looked at whether a person's resilience could help ward off the impact of stress.

The study did not find a connection between resilience and cardiovascu...

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A minimally invasive procedure called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) was as effective as the recommended surgery for treating fibroids in the uterus, a new study says.

In UFE, the fibroid growths' blood supply is cut off using a small tube. The new research found that this approach also led to fewer complications compared to myomectomy, ...

FRIDAY, March 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More American women had health insurance and access to care after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was fully in place in 2014, and poorest women benefited most, according to a new report.

For the study, researchers examined U.S. National Health Interview Survey data on insurance affordability, access to care and the use of preventive services --...

FRIDAY, March 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Expectant moms often try to plan as many aspects of their upcoming delivery as they can. But one thing they might not consider is what type of pain relief they will choose if they need to have a C-section.

Now, new research from the University of Texas suggests that while opioids can control pain, a combination of other painkillers could offe...

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A woman's age and previous pregnancy complications influence her odds of miscarriage, a new study says.

The findings suggest that miscarriage and other pregnancy complications share underlying causes that require further investigation, according to the researchers.

"More focused studies of these associations might lead to new ins...

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Postpartum depression is a common and often devastating condition for new mothers, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the first drug to help combat it.

The drug, Zulesso (brexanolone), is delivered via intravenous infusion.

"Postpartum depression is a serious condition that, when severe, can be life-thr...

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Not all Asian-Americans are equally susceptible to the deadly damage of heart disease and stroke, new research suggests.

The risk of premature death is highest among Asian Indian, Filipino and Vietnamese subgroups, the researchers found.

For the study, investigators analyzed U.S. death records from 2003 to 2012 to determine aver...

MONDAY, March 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For women who need relief from bladder control problems, behavioral therapies are a better bet than medication, a new research review finds.

In an analysis of 84 clinical trials, researchers found that overall, women were better off with behavioral approaches to easing urinary incontinence than relying on medication.

Study patients ...

MONDAY, March 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Having a twin brother could put a woman at a lasting disadvantage, and exposure to his testosterone before birth may play a role, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data on 13,800 twin births in Norway between 1967 and 1978. Compared to women with a twin sister, those with a twin brother were 15 percent less likely to finish high sch...

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women scientists get less early-career research funding from the U.S. government than men, which can put them at a disadvantage for the rest of their careers, a new study says.

Researchers analyzed grants given by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to 53,000 first-time principal investigators (57 percent men and 43 percent women) be...

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Think exercise has to be high-intensity to make a difference to your health? Think again. New research shows that even routine housework and gardening can help older women's hearts.

"For older women, any and all movement counts towards better cardiovascular health," said Dr. David Goff. He's director of the division of cardiovascular sciences...

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Black women in their 50s may have more than triple the risk of stroke compared to white women of the same age, according to a new study that also found a healthy lifestyle could help curb much of that risk.

The findings suggest strokes are "impacting black women at a time in their lives when they're most productive at the...

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who started menstruating at an early age have an increased risk of high blood pressure, new research suggests.

For the study, scientists analyzed data from nearly 7,900 women in China. The investigators found that early-onset menstruation was linked to a much higher chance for high blood pressure in late adulthood, even after t...

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Figuring out which breast cancer patients will live disease-free after treatment is a bit of a guessing game. But new research indicates breast cancer cells hold molecular clues that may allow doctors to predict who is at high risk of having a recurrence up to 20 years later.

It has long been known that women who are successfully treated f...

TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women who get pregnant when using certain contraceptives might have their genes to blame, a new study suggests.

A gene variant that breaks down hormones in birth control could be the culprit, researchers reported.

"When a woman says she got pregnant while on birth control, the assumption was always that it was somehow her fault," s...

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Bad news for women who carry fat around their waist rather than on their thighs: New research finds that postmenopausal women shaped like apples are at higher risk for stroke and heart attack than their pear-shaped counterparts.

Several recent studies have found that body fat distribution is a better predictor of heart dise...

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many women turn to hormone therapy to ease some of the more troubling symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats.

But new research suggests that relief may come at a cost -- an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

The study found that women taking hormone therapy had a 9 percent to 17 percent higher risk of deve...

TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Feeling trapped behind a desk, a counter or on the factory floor does no favors for the mind.

Now, research helps confirm that women with jobs that demand long hours may be more prone to depression.

Researchers found that compared with women who worked a standard 40-hour week, those who were on the clock 55 hours or more typically r...

TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The community of bacteria or "microbiome" in a woman's cervix might be a harbinger of her risk for cervical cancer, a new study suggests.

For the study, researchers used genetic analysis to identify bacteria present in samples from 144 Tanzanian women who had cervical cancer screenings between March 2015 and February 2016.

Of the wo...

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Giving blood can be a way to help your community, but teenaged girls face special risks when donating, a new study shows.

Specifically, they face a higher chance of developing iron deficiency and anemia, so they require additional measures to protect them, the researchers said.

Blood donation is largely a safe procedure, but the bloo...

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Infections with two strains of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) are showing marked declines among American women, and rising vaccination rates could be driving the trend.

That's the finding from a new study involving thousands of U.S. women who tested positive for precancerous conditions of the cervix.

Infection ...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could an ancient Chinese practice come to the rescue for women struggling with menopausal symptoms?

New Danish research suggests that -- for some women at least -- acupuncture might bring relief.

"Acupuncture for menopausal symptoms is a realistic option for women who cannot or do not wish to use [hormone therapy]" to ease hot fla...

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Younger U.S. women are suffering heart attacks at a higher rate now than 20 years ago -- even while the picture has improved for younger men.

Those are the key findings from a new study of four U.S. communities, in which researchers report the heart attack rate among women younger than 55 has steadily inched upward since 1995. In contrast, th...

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have specific mutations in genes known as BRCA are at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Now, an influential expert panel reaffirms that certain women should be screened for the genes.

The draft recommendation comes from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, whose advisories often guide physician practice and insuranc...

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new study throws serious doubt on the safety of using a common yeast infection treatment during pregnancy.

Fluconazole (Diflucan) is a prescribed pill used to treat yeast infections. However, Canadian research now suggests its use greatly raises a pregnant woman's odd for miscarriage, as well as the odds that her baby will have a heart defe...

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Older women, beware: New research warns that drinking a lot of diet sodas or artificially sweetened fruit juices may increase your risk for stroke.

In a study that tracked nearly 82,000 postmenopausal women, those who drank two or more diet drinks per day saw their overall stroke risk rise by 23 percent, compared with those who consumed diet...

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to high levels of the pesticide DDT increases breast cancer risk -- but when the cancer surfaces depends on when women first came in contact with the chemical, researchers say.

"What we have learned is that timing really matters," said lead author Barbara Cohn, from the California-based Public Health Institute.

"We know th...

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A global study about what men and women want in a mate seems to confirm -- to a point -- long-established stereotypes.

Men still go for looks -- in general they said their preference is for a partner who is younger and physically attractive. Women said they'd prefer an older partner who's ambitious and has good financial prospects.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In the race to conception, the female body is set up to separate weak sperm from strong, researchers report.

A woman's reproductive system presents a veritable obstacle course that stress-tests sperm, making sure that only the strongest swimmers have a chance of reaching a woman's egg, according to a new study.

Narrow gate-like p...

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Widespread mammography screening and big advances in breast cancer treatment have saved hundreds of thousands of American women's lives since 1989, a new study estimates.

Researchers tracked 1990-2015 U.S. data on breast cancer deaths, along with general data, on women aged 40 to 84. They found the number of breast cancer deaths prevented duri...

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Certain strains of HPV are known to cause cervical cancer and other types of tumors. Now, a new study raises the possibility that they might also contribute to heart disease.

Researchers found that among over 63,000 women, those infected with "high-risk" strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) were somewhat more likely to develop heart disease ...

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Angie Read Doyal was unsure if she'd be the same after her stroke. So, when she felt ready to return to work after only seven weeks of intense physical, speech and occupational therapy, she was confident.

But that self-assurance quickly was undermined by severe anxiety, panic attacks and depression.

New research ...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's a common gynecological finding: A growth on an ovary, which turns out to be a benign cyst. Is surgical removal necessary?

Not always, according to data from a new study of more than 1,900 such cases in which outcomes were tracked for two years post-diagnosis.

The team behind the research now believes that most women with non-c...

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Binge-watching series after series might be fun, but too much TV could raise a middle-aged woman's odds for colon cancer, a new study finds.

Reporting Feb. 5 in JNCI Cancer Spectrum, researchers tracked data for more than 89,000 U.S. women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study.

The investigators found 118 cases of "young-onset"...

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "Boys will be boys" goes the old saying, but girls might have the last laugh.

It turns out that female brains tend to age more slowly, researchers report.

On average, women's brains appear to be about three years younger than those of men at the same chronological age. This could provide one clue to why women tend to stay mentally sha...

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Interpret the data whatever way you will, but a new study shows a jump in women getting long-term contraception in the month following the election of President Donald Trump.

The researchers' theory?

Study author Dr. Lydia Pace acknowledged that "there is limited concrete evidence about why this may have happened," but she stressed th...

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women who've had fertility treatments -- especially in vitro fertilization -- may be at higher risk for serious pregnancy complications, a new study suggests.

Still, it's not clear if the treatments cause the hike in risk, and the benefits of IVF far outweigh any obstetric dangers, the study's Canadian authors said.

"It is important t...

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Wellness Library Results - 210

Soon into your pregnancy, don't be surprised if you feel foggy-brained and forgetful. You may find yourself misplacing your purse, forgetting to return phone calls, or going off to fetch something only to discover you've forgotten what you are looking for. At work, you may catch yourself daydreaming through meetings or staring out the window rather than completing that report. Whatever form your a...

Even though every delivery is different, each woman's labor usually comes with predictable stages that you can read about in any reliable pregnancy book. It's after the baby's born that many women are surprised by how they feel. After you've delivered your baby, you'll have some residual aches and pains -- perhaps some that your friends and relatives might not have talked about. Here's what you ca...

You're likely to hear it more than once during your pregnancy: "Go ahead, have a drink -- one little glass of wine won't hurt the baby." Older friends and relatives will insist that in their day, casual drinking was common during pregnancy. "And look at us," they'll add cheerfully. "We all turned out just fine." Are these well-meaning friends right? The answer is a resounding no. It may help you t...

Every mom-to-be hopes to give birth to a healthy baby. However, some women, due to age or genetic makeup, are at greater risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Amniocentesis -- or amnio for short -- is a prenatal diagnostic test that uses a sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby in the womb to test for specific abnormalities. Amnio can help rule out many potential problems, incl...

It takes strong building materials to make a healthy baby, and few things are stronger than iron. Iron forms the core of red blood cells, the vehicles that carry oxygen to every part of your body, including to your growing baby. If you don't have enough iron -- a common problem in pregnancy -- these vehicles will start to break down, leaving you and your baby deprived of oxygen. This condition, c...

Now that you're pregnant and eating for two, you probably wonder a bit about your diet and whether you're getting the nutrients you need. And if you suffer occasional bouts of nausea or morning sickness, your diet is even more of a concern. Here are some of the most common questions about nutritional needs during pregnancy. How much weight should I gain during pregnancy? Every woman is different...

The bond between parents and babies is one of the strongest forces in nature. Romances come and go, but once you've fallen for your baby, you're hooked for life. Jen Harrington of South Riding, Virginia, felt the rush the instant she looked at her new son. People had warned her that she was about to fall in love as never before, but she didn't know what they meant until Joshua came along. "It was ...

With his 2-year-old upstairs taking a nap, Tim Anderson* seized the chance to do some yard work. A few moments later, he was bewildered to find the toddler lying on the lawn, crying inconsolably. That's odd, he thought: How did he get downstairs so fast? Then, to his horror, he noticed a window screen lying beside his son. Alone in his room, the enterprising tot had managed to push out the screen ...

As the Girl Scouts motto goes: Be prepared. The better supplied you are before your baby gets here, the smoother your transition to parenthood will be. What follows is a handy checklist so you can make sure you've got the right stuff in time for your new arrival. Infant car seat You won't be able to leave the hospital without an infant car seat. In fact, if you don't have one, the hospital may loa...

It's a tough call, but no one would dispute that back pain ranks in the Top 10 list of a pregnant woman's gripes. According to the North American Spine Society, at least half of all women experience back pain at some point in pregnancy. An aching back is usually caused by your shifting center of gravity. The weight of your baby puts strain on your lower back, but it also may simply be the result ...

Bed rest. On the face of it, it sounds so relaxing, almost like a vacation. Lie in bed or on the couch ... read or watch television ... take a little break from "real" life. But these are two words that no pregnant woman wants to hear -- whether the doctor's order comes at 16, 26, or 36 weeks of pregnancy. The need for bed rest is surprisingly common during pregnancy. Roughly one in five women spe...

If you're having a normal, healthy pregnancy, you may want to add some low-intensity strength training and daily exercise to your regimen. Pregnancy isn't the time to take up new or strenuous sports, but with your health provider's okay, you can begin strengthening the muscles in your upper and lower body -- you're going to need them! During pregnancy, the extra weight in your belly and your brea...

Most women go through a battery of prenatal tests during the course of their pregnancy. But if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or too much or too little of the fluid that bathes the fetus and serves as a shock absorber (known as amniotic fluid), extra monitoring is called for. If you have preeclampsia, a potentially serious condition marked by high blood pressure and excess protein in your...

Not too long ago, pregnant women didn't have many options when it came to choosing a place to give birth. It was just assumed that they would end up at the nearest hospital, whether they felt comfortable there or not. But today's moms-to-be have more possibilities than ever. They can find a hospital with the doctors and services that they prefer, they can opt to have a baby at home with the help...

Before you reach your third trimester, you should be thinking about registering for a childbirth education class. Like most prospective parents, you're probably apprehensive about labor, delivery, and your first days with your new baby. The courses are an excellent way to prepare yourself and your partner for childbirth -- psychologically, emotionally, and practically. If you possibly can, attend...

A birth plan is simply a document that outlines the kind of birth experience you wish to have. Creating one will help you talk with your physician or midwife about your baby's birth. Perhaps some of your requests can't be granted due to hospital policy, but at least you can start the discussion with hospital staff and see if your physician can work out some compromises. There are three important...

Light bleeding or "spotting" during pregnancy happens more often than you might think, with up to 25 percent of all pregnant women experiencing it. Spotting -- bleeding that isn't continuous and isn't enough to fill a tampon or pad -- is especially common in the first three months. In many cases there's no cause for alarm, but you should call your doctor whenever you have bleeding during pregnancy...

Early in your pregnancy, usually at your first prenatal visit, your practitioner will do certain standard blood tests to learn basic information about your body, check for specific conditions, or spot any potential health problems. Here's what your blood test may reveal: Blood type and antibody screen First of all, a blood test will disclose your blood type if you don't know it already. Each of th...

It's one of the first things that everyone asks a pregnant woman: Is it a boy or a girl? Throughout history, many parents didn't want to wait until the actual birth to find out. They'd wave crystals over the mother or consult the stars. They'd hang a ring over the mother's tummy or measure the baby's heart rate -- and have at least a 50/50 chance of guessing correctly. Now, of course, there are mu...

Expectant parents can be forgiven if they panic when they hear the word "bonding." Library shelves and Web sites are devoted to the importance of bonding with a newborn and the trauma that may result when it doesn't take place. Many parents now fear that if they don't bond immediately, their children may be scarred for life. No wonder the issue has wrought so much stress. Studies in the last two d...

Now that you're pregnant, you've probably noticed that health professionals have taken a sudden, intense interest in your blood pressure. You can hardly drive past the clinic without somebody flagging you down for a quick checkup. You might get tired of having that cuff wrapped around your arm, but all of those blood pressure measurements are completely necessary. Your blood pressure is one of the...

How does breastfeeding help me? No food is more perfect for babies than breast milk. Breast milk contains all the nutrients that a newborn needs -- to date some 100 "ingredients" have been identified in breast milk that cannot be duplicated in formula. In fact, the benefits of breastfeeding are so well established that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends that women breastfeed t...

Everyone thinks that breastfeeding comes naturally. But for infants born prematurely or who are ill at birth, that often isn't the case. Some babies, even healthy ones, just plain struggle with the mechanics of suckling, becoming more frantic by the hour as their anxious moms try desperately to feed them. That's why it's good to learn as much about breastfeeding as you can before the baby gets her...

Breast milk is the perfect food for babies. It contains all the nutrients your baby needs in just the right balance, and it passes along the natural antibodies you've acquired, too, so your little one's immune system gets off to a good start. But it can also contain some unwelcome added ingredients if you're taking medicine for a cold or other ailment. Usually these medicines aren't passed along ...

As the tiny individual inside you grows, your body's organs are going to find the neighborhood increasingly more crowded. Your lungs and diaphragm will need to make room for this new resident, and as a result, you may feel a little out of breath -- usually starting in your second trimester. This breathless feeling will increase until your baby drops lower into your pelvis a few weeks before birth....

Babies have two basic options at birth: They can come out the hard way, or the really, really hard way. Ninety-seven percent of babies enter the birth canal headfirst, the safest approach for both mother and baby. The other 3 percent enter feet-first, bottom-first, or a combination of both. This is called a breech presentation. There are three different types of breech presentations. Some breech b...

I've heard drinking coffee can make it harder to get pregnant. Is that true? You may have heard that even moderate amounts of caffeine can delay conception. The truth is, no one is really sure. One often-cited study from the 1990s found that women who had the equivalent of three cups of coffee a day lowered their likelihood of conceiving by as much as 27 percent. But researchers at Harvard Medica...

What is a contraction stress test? In this procedure, your baby's heart rate is measured in response to the uterus when it contracts. These contractions are mild and induced. Every contraction you have squeezes the baby and gives the doctors a chance to see how he or she will stand up to the physical challenges involved in labor. As stressful as that may sound, for most babies the test presents no...

I've been feeling cramps in my abdomen. Is this normal? Pregnancy puts a major strain on your body, and nowhere is this more evident than in your expanding belly. As your baby grows, the added pressure on muscles, joints, ligaments, and surrounding organs can lead to cramping and discomfort. Knowing when and why cramps are likely to occur can help you recognize which ones are a normal part of preg...

Why am I losing my hair? Anybody with hair on their head will lose a bit every day. A woman with healthy hair could easily lose 150 hairs a day. Normally, other hairs grow back to take their place. But if you're noticing that your hair is getting thinner, you're losing hair faster than you're replacing it. Just like men, many women have inherited a tendency toward thinning hair as they grow older...

What's a Pap test? A Pap test -- named for its inventor, George Papanicolaou -- is a medical test that can detect a potential case of cervical cancer before it even starts. The test is undoubtedly a life saver. By some estimates, widespread use of the Pap test has cut cervical cancer deaths by 70 percent. What happens during a Pap test? The test is very simple. You will lie back on a table with y...

Josh Kraft and his wife originally planned to have their first baby in a hospital. But as the months went by, the idea seemed less and less appealing. "My wife wanted to control things," Kraft says. "She didn't want a doctor saying, 'Well, it's 5:30 on a Friday, let's move this thing along.'" Eventually, they decided to have the baby at home, where they could be in charge -- at least until the bab...

If you find that you're not immediately overwhelmed with love with your newborn, don't worry. Like any other emotional relationship, developing a connection with your child can take time. Similarly, as with any other relationship, this one will have its own unique rhythms and pace of development. The timing will depend upon you and your baby; your experience of childbirth and your life circumstanc...

During 42 hours of painful labor, Julie McNitt of Amherst, New York, had two constant companions: Her husband and a professional labor assistant called a "doula." And if she ever has another child, both of them will be invited back. Her husband earned points by sticking around despite a bad case of "deer in the headlights" syndrome. Her doula, Cindy Whittaker, simply helped her survive. "Because ...

Pregnancy is a time of many changes not only for your body, but also for your mind. Your mood can swing from sunny to dark, and you'll probably start worrying more than usual. And no matter how much you're looking forward to your baby's arrival, you just might find yourself feeling depressed. By some estimates, depression strikes one in five women during pregnancy. If you're feeling down during ...

Those colored lines on home tests aren't the only signs of early pregnancy. Many women start noticing changes in their bodies very soon after they conceive. If pregnancy is a possibility for you, you should watch out for the early symptoms. The sooner you realize you might be pregnant, the sooner you can take a pregnancy test to make sure. Keep in mind, however, that your body's early pregnancy w...

It doesn't just happen in the movies: Sometimes babies really are born in taxis or on trains -- even in the hospital parking lot. Rapid labor is most common in women who have given birth quickly in the past, have given birth several times before, or have previously gone into labor prematurely. But you never know when you may be called upon to assist in an emergency birth. The first rule of thumb? ...

Putting on extra weight isn't usually a winning strategy for good health. But now that you're pregnant, you need to keep the needle on your scale moving in the right direction. No matter what type of body you have now, it needs to get bigger. How much weight should I gain? According to the March of Dimes, a woman who started pregnancy at a normal weight should expect to gain about 25 to 35 pound...

What is an episiotomy? An episiotomy is a surgical cut to widen the vaginal opening during delivery. Doctors sometimes make an incision in the perineum -- the area between the vagina and the anus -- to help the baby come out. Your doctor will likely numb the area with a local anesthetic before making the cut and suture the incision after the baby is born. When is an episiotomy necessary? T...

There are a dozen good reasons to exercise during pregnancy. Lowering your risk of developing gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, and keeping your body fit so you can endure the challenges of labor and childbirth are just two of them. Still, you do have some special considerations, and you should discuss your exercise regimen with your health-care provider. Here are some issues to consi...

What are Braxton-Hicks contractions? Known as false labor, Braxton-Hicks contractions may be the first contractions you feel during pregnancy. They can start anywhere from the 20th week on. If you put a hand on your abdomen during a contraction, you can sometimes feel your abdominal muscles tighten and release, becoming hard, then softening again. This is different from feeling the baby move, w...

Within a span of six cruel years, Leta Stachura lost her mother, father, father-in-law, and grandmother -- and then her husband of almost 34 years. Without the Family and Medical Leave Act, she says, she would have lost her job with Federal Express and her sanity as well. "My husband died at home with me. The only thing left standing after this was me and my job. I needed it for financial suppor...

In many ways, Josh Kraft of Billings, Montana, had perfect training for fatherhood. As the oldest of nine children, he was already an expert baby wrangler who knew his way around a diaper. But when Kraft and his wife started talking about having kids of their own, a few doubts and fears started to creep in. Was he really ready? Was his wife ready? How could they afford a child? In the end, the des...

The reason you hear so much about folic acid and pregnancy is because this B vitamin protects against a group of serious birth defects. However, if you're like most women, you don't get enough folic acid (officially known as B9) from your diet alone. For this reason, doctors often recommend that women who are pregnant or trying to conceive take prenatal vitamins containing folic acid. What's the...

In order to determine whether you've developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy, doctors may test your blood sugar level. The most common procedure is a glucose screening. Most women are tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy, the time when the body is likely to begin having greater difficulty processing glucose. If you are at high risk, your doctor will likely test you much ear...

What are hemorrhoids? Hemorrhoids, sometimes called piles, are inflamed or swollen veins (think varicose veins) either on the outside of the anus or inside it. They are often painless, but they may bleed, hurt, or itch when irritated. Sometimes hemorrhoids can become inflamed and engorged with blood, causing them to become quite painful. Occasionally, a blood clot can form in a hemorrhoid, making...

Why should I have a blood test for hepatitis B? Like other forms of hepatitis, hepatitis B is a virus that can cause severe liver damage. Unfortunately, a third of the people who have hepatitis B fail to show any symptoms of the disease. (Doctors would say they are "asymptomatic.") In fact, they may not even know they have it. The danger during pregnancy is that the virus can be easily transmitte...

Carrie Hook had her first two babies in a Minneapolis hospital, where she was surrounded by obstetricians, nurses, and cutting-edge technology. When she had her third baby, she was surrounded by a midwife, a house contractor (her husband, Joe), and a tarp to protect the living room carpet. Home births aren't for everyone. But if Hook ever has another baby, she knows exactly where she wants to be...

Long before you take your new baby home, you need to think about a crucial issue: Who will take care of her at times when parents are otherwise occupied? Whether you're staying at home or quickly going back to work, you can make sure your baby spends all day, every day, in a safe, nurturing environment. Many factors will influence your choice, including cost, convenience, and, most of all, your ba...

Scary stories about cats and babies abound, most nothing more than superstition. But there are real diseases associated with changing the kitty litter while you're pregnant. Fortunately, with a few precautions, you can minimize the risks and still enjoy your favorite feline. Why is kitty litter a potential danger during pregnancy? Cats can become transmitters of toxoplasmosis, a disease they can ...

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