A miscarriage ( also called a spontaneous abortion) is defined as a loss of an unborn fetus at 20 weeks or less in a full term pregnancy (40 weeks). Although these are medical terms, sometimes it is easier to say pregnancy loss. It is also very important for a woman who experiences a pregnancy loss to know she is not alone. Approximately 1 in 5 women may experience a pregnancy loss for reasons unknown. Most pregnancy losses occur within the first thirteen weeks (1st trimester) of pregnancy.
Symptoms of a pregnancy loss can be:
1) Bleeding heavier than normal menstrual bleeding.
2) Pain/cramping in the pelvis, lower back or abdomen.
3) Passage of tissue or of a small recognizable fetus from the vagina.
Confirmation or diagnosis of a pregnancy loss can be:
1) A pelvic exam showing that the cervix has dilated (opened).
2) A sonogram (ultrasound) of the pelvic organs.
3) A decrease in signs of pregnancy.
4) Falling hormone levels in the blood through a lab test.
Some reasons that a woman may blame for her pregnancy loss, but probably do not cause it, are:
1) Emotional stress.
2) Birth control pills taken in early pregnancy.
3) Reasonable amounts of exercise.
4) Sexual intercourse.
Treatment for pregnancy loss:
It is always advisable to seek medical attention if a woman suspects she’s having a miscarriage. She should call her doctor of go to the nearest emergency room. She may be treated with medication and closely followed or may need a dilation and curettage (D&C) -a minor surgery – to remove it, in which case she would be given anesthesia or other effective pain medication.
Although a pregnancy loss can be very difficult for a woman and those around her to process, there is help. Available support groups can be found at www.mend.org and www.aplacetoremember.com.
Lisa Lanza, RDMS
Ref. 1) American Pregnancy Assoc., 2) BabyCenter.com., 3) Livescience.com.,
What is it?? An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the expected uterus. Although it can implant in various places outside of the uterus, the most common place is in the fallopian tube and it’s known as a tubal pregnancy. It occurs in 1%-2% of pregnancies.
When should I be concerned?? The first symptoms could be severe pain in the abdomen or pelvic area. You may also have light vaginal bleeding. If the fallopian tube begins to leak rupture you may experience shoulder pain or the pressure as if you need to use the bathroom. If the tube ruptures you may become very lightheaded and faint. If you experience any of these symptoms you should go to the closest ER immediately.
How is it treated?? If the pregnancy is early you may be given an injection of Methotrexate to stop the fetal growth and cause the existing tissue to be dissolved. If the pregnancy is too big or the tube has begun to leak or rupture, you will probably require a surgical procedure to remove the pregnancy and possibly the tube itself if it has been damaged beyond repair.
A potential ectopic pregnancy is why an ultrasound is so important. Call 973-538-0967 or text 973-532-2904 to come to First Choice for a free ultrasound to medically confirm pregnancy.
Rhea Borbotti, RN, Director of Health Services First Choice Women’s Resource Centers , Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark and Plainfield, NJ
After a one-night stand, summer fling, unforgettable prom night, or when a long-term partner confesses to cheating on you, you decide to check the STD symptoms on the web and are relieved to find that you don’t have any. There is nothing obvious that would send you to the doctor. And, since you’re sure to use a condom, that means you’re OK, right?
Chlamydia is known as a ‘silent’ infection because most infected people have no symptoms. Chlamydia is transmitted through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected partner. Ejaculation does not have to occur for chlamydia to be transmitted or acquired.
Gonorrhea is easily spread and occurs most often in people who have many sexual partners, but not all people infected with gonorrhea have symptoms. In some women, symptoms are so mild that they go unnoticed. Many women with abnormal discharge think they have a yeast infection so they self-treat with over-the-counter yeast infection medication. Because vaginal discharge can be a sign of a number of different problems, it is best to always seek the advice of a doctor to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
The use of condoms cannot provide absolute protection against any STD. The most reliable way to avoid transmission of STDs is to abstain from sexual activity.
First Choice Women’s Resource Centers provides free STD screening. Call 973-538-0967 or text 973-532-2904 to make an appt. at one of our centers in Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark or Plainfield, NJ.
Ana Cenit, RN
Pregnant women who are sexually active can be infected with STDs, just like women who are not pregnant. Many STDs don’t have visible symptoms, so you may be unaware you are infected. If you are pregnant, however, not only are you at risk of the harmful effects of STDs, but so is your unborn baby.
STDs like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics and cured during pregnancy, so getting prenatal care and being tested early in pregnancy is very important. You should let your doctor know about any high-risk behavior you may have engaged in and ask to be tested since not all doctors routinely test for all STDs.
The best way to prevent the harmful effects of an STD is to prevent the infections that cause them. The only way to be certain to prevent infection is to not have sex unless you are in a mutually monogamous relationship with someone who is disease-free. Condoms may help, but they are only 50% effective in preventing Chlamydia and Gonorrhea…..not a good enough rate for you and your baby.
Debby Wolff, RN, First Choice Women’s Resource Centers
Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark, and Plainfield, NJ
When a woman becomes pregnant, many changes occur within her body. This article describes amniotic fluid and its importance to the developing fetus.
Amniotic fluid begins to form within the pregnancy after the first 12 days following conception. It is a clear/yellow fluid that has many functions. As the baby grows, the fluid increases. During the first 18 weeks of pregnancy the mothers body produces it. After 18 weeks the baby produces it. Naturally, the amniotic fluid protects the developing baby like a cushion for it. However, amniotic fluid also helps regulate the baby’s temperature. This fluid also contains antibodies which help protect the baby from infection.
As the baby grows and develops, so do its lungs. The baby begins to expand and contract its lungs, creating a breathing motion. This exercise helps the baby to swallow the fluid and excrete it back into the gestational sac! This motion can actually be seen during an ultrasound. Amniotic fluid also helps the baby move around quite easily which helps its muscles and bones develop properly.
Amniotic fluid in pregnancy is an essential part of pregnancy, not just “a bag of water” as it can be called.
Lisa Lanza, RDMS, First Choice Women’s Resource Centers Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark and Plainfield, NJ 973-538-0967
Source: Medical News Today. com. , Clinical Sonography A Practical Guide Second Edition Roger C. Sanders
- That circle is known as the Yolk Sac (YS).
- It is a membrane that is connected by a tube to the embryo, and acts as the start of the circulatory system.
- The Yolk Sac also is what provides nourishment to the growing fetus until the placenta is fully formed.
- Once the placenta is fully formed in your second trimester, the placenta takes over this role.
- The placenta is attached to the uterine wall and is connected to the fetus by the umbilical cord.
- It transports oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus, as well as, filters out any waste.
- The placenta continues to grow and change in order to accommodate the fetus’s needs as the fetus becomes bigger.
- The placenta can also help to protect the fetus from certain infections and maternal diseases.
First Choice Women’s Resource Centers offers free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds to medically confirm pregnancy. Call 973-538-0967 or text 973-532-2904 for an appointment in our Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark or Plainfield locations.
- Zika is linked to birth defects such as microcephaly.
- Other birth defects include eye defects, hearing loss and impaired growth.
Transmission can occur by:
- Being bitten by an infected mosquito.
- Having sex with a man infected with the virus
- An infected pregnant woman passing it to her fetus.
- Joint Pain
- Conjunctivitis (Red Eyes)
Current countries with infected mosquitos:
The Caribbean – currently includes Aruba; Barbados; Bonaire; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Haiti; Jamaica; Martinique; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a US territory; Saint Barthelemy; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sint Maarten; Trinidad and Tobago; US Virgin Islands
Central America – currently includes Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
The Pacific Islands – currently includes American Samoa, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga
South America – currently includes Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
Rhea Borbotti, RN, Director of Health Services First Choice Women’s Resource Centers Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark and Plainfield, NJ 973-538-0967
In recent years there’s been a lot of talk about “safe sex”: safe from infection, disease, and pregnancy. So how can we be safe? We’re told by some that condoms are the answer for the protection we need.
But what’s the bottom line? It’s not called “Safe Sex” any more – now it’s “Safer Sex”.
The fact is that condoms don’t make us as safe as we once thought. When condoms are used “consistently and correctly 100% of the time,” transmission of gonorrhea and chlamydia (two common STDs) is only reduced by about 50%. Genital herpes transmission is reduced by about 40%, and HIV transmission is reduced by about 85%.
Do you feel “safe” with a 15% failure rate and a deadly STD? With one slip or one broken condom, your rate of protection is gone!
So what’s the answer if you really want to be safe?
If you’ve already been sexually active, consider coming in to one of our five locations to be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Testing is important because many people infected with these two bacterial diseases don’t have visible symptoms, but the disease may be causing lasting damage to their bodies. While you are there being tested, you can meet with one of our nurses to talk about “safest sex”!
You have great plans for your life that don’t include an STD. Call us at 973-538-0967 or text 973-532-2904 to schedule an appt.
Debby Wolff, RN, First Choice Women’s Resource Centers Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark and Plainfield, NJ
If you are a sexually active women younger than 25 years old or an older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection, you should be tested for gonorrhea every year. Not all people infected with gonorrhea have symptoms, so knowing when to seek treatment can be tricky. When symptoms do occur, they are often within two to 10 days after exposure, but they can take up to 30 days to develop and may include the following symptoms:
• Greenish yellow or whitish discharge from the vagina
• Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
• Burning when urinating
• Conjunctivitis (red, itchy eyes)
• Bleeding between periods
• Spotting after intercourse
• Vulvitis (swelling of the vulva)
• Burning in the throat (due to oral sex)
• Swollen glands in the throat (due to oral sex)
What happens if I don’t get treated?
Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men. In women, untreated gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Some of the complications of PID are the following:
• Formation of scar tissue that blocks fallopian tubes;
• Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb);
• Infertility (inability to get pregnant);
• Long-term pelvic/abdominal pain.
Untreated gonorrhea may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV – the virus that causes AIDS. Rarely, untreated gonorrhea can also spread to your blood or joints. This condition can be life-threatening.
Ana Cenit, RN
First Choice Women’s Resource Centers – Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark and Plainfield, NJ
Call 973-538-0967 or text 973-532-2904 to schedule an appointment for a free STI screen for chlamydia or gonorrhea.
What is ultrasound and how does it work?
Ultrasound is a safe and very effective way of seeing inside the body. It is performed to see many different parts of the body, including pregnancy. Ultrasound works like sonar does in the ocean. The sound waves travel the best through water (or fluid). Ultrasound uses a camera (called a transducer) placed on the woman’s lower abdomen with ultrasound gel on it to send sound waves through the body. The sound waves are then are transmitted back to the transducer. A computer then uses those sound waves to create a the image. Ultrasound is extremely safe for the woman and fetus because there is no radiation involved (like an x-ray). Ultrasound has been used for decades and there are no known harmful effects. Since the images are seen in what is called “real time”, you can see what’s happening “live”.
How do I prepare for an ultrasound exam?
The preparation is quite simple but may be a bit challenging. Since the uterus is located under the bladder, the fuller the bladder is the better the image. The woman is asked to drink 32 oz of water about 45 min before the exam and hold her bladder. It sounds difficult but is very attainable! In an early pregnancy (less than about 10 weeks) a vaginal ultrasound is usually done after the abdominal to get a clearer view and more accurate measurement of the fetus. It is almost always not painful, and the woman can empty her bladder before it is done! (PS: The woman can eat before the exam if she likes.)
Lisa Lanza, RMDS, Sonographer
First Choice Women’s Resource Centers
Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark and Plainfield, NJ
Call 973-538-0967 or text 973-532-2904 to schedule an appt.
Article information from Radiologyinfo.org