What Pregnant Women Should Know About Fifth Disease.
Each year, according to the WHO, ill-health as a result of pregnancy is experienced (sometimes permanently) by more than 20 million women around the world. Furthermore, the “lives of eight million women are threatened, and more than 500,000 women are estimated to have died in 1995 as a result of causes related to pregnancy and childbirth“.[Merck. "Pregnancy complicated by disease". Merck Manual, Home Edition. Merck Sharp & Dohme.http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec22/ch262777/ch262777b.html]
Pregnancy is one thing which is most awaited by married women. However, pregnancy can also make women more susceptible to diseases. It is important to know what are the diseases that often occur in pregnant women, so that you can be alert when you finally get pregnant.
Pregnancy poses varying levels of health risk for women, depending on their medical profile before pregnancy. The following are some of the complaints that may occur during and/or after pregnancy due to the many changes which pregnancy causes in a woman’s body:
Anemia: A low level of hemoglobin (less than 10 gm/dl) during pregnancy. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to body tissues via the red blood cells. Anemia in pregnancy is very common and is present in almost 8o% of pregnant women. Because volume of blood increases during pregnancy (hemodilution), a moderate decrease in the concentration of red blood cells and hemoglobin is normal.
Most commonly, people with anemia report non-specific symptoms of a feeling of weakness, or fatigue, general malaise and sometimes poor concentration. They may also report dyspnea (shortness of breath) on exertion. In very severe anemia, the body may compensate for the lack of oxygen-carrying capability of the blood by increasing cardiac output. The patient may have symptoms related to this, such as palpitations, angina (if preexisting heart disease is present), intermittent claudication of the legs, and symptoms of heart failure.
Back Pain: About 50% of women experience low back pain during pregnancy. Back pain in pregnancy may be severe enough to cause significant pain and disability and pre-dispose patients to back pain in a following pregnancy. No significant increased risk of back pain with pregnancy has been found with respect to maternal weight gain, exercise, work satisfaction, or pregnancy outcome factors such as birth weight, birth length, and Apgar scores.
Back Pain is one of humanity’s most frequent complaints. In the U.S., acute low back pain (also called lumbago) is the fifth most common reason for physician visits. About nine out of ten adults experience back pain at some point in their life, and five out of ten working adults have back pain every year.
Back pain in pregnancy may also be characterized by pain radiating into the thigh and buttocks, night-time pain severe enough to wake the patient, pain that is increased during the night-time, or pain that is increased during the day-time. The avoidance of high impact, weight-bearing activities and especially those that asymmetrically load the involved structures such as: extensive twisting with lifting, single-leg stance postures, stair climbing, and repetitive motions at or near the end-ranges of back or hip motion can easen the pain.
Carpal tunnel syndrome : With pregnancy and hypothyroidism, fluid is retained in tissues, which swells the tenosynovium. During pregnancy women experience CTS due to hormonal changes and water retention which is common during pregnancy. The main symptom of CTS is intermittent numbness of the thumb, index, long and radial half of the ring finger. The numbness usually occurs at night because we tend to sleep with our wrists flexed and is relieved by wearing a wrist splint that prevents flexion. Long-standing CTS leads to permanent nerve damage with constant numbness, atrophy of some of the muscles of the thenar eminence, and weakness of palmar abduction.
Hemorrhoid: The other reason that pregnant women have more hemorrhoids is from the increased venous pressure caused by the enlarging pelvic mass. During pregnancy, pressure from the fetus on the abdomen and hormonal changes cause the hemorrhoidal vessels to enlarge. During labor, hemorrhoids may develop because of the intense pressure on the anal area while pushing to deliver the baby. Delivery also leads to increased intra-abdominal pressures. Surgical treatment is rarely needed, as symptoms usually resolve post delivery.
Constipation: Constipation is defined as having a bowel movement fewer than three times per week. With constipation stools are usually hard, dry, small in size, and difficult to eliminate. Some people who are constipated find it painful to have a bowel movement and often experience straining, bloating, and the sensation of a full bowel. Experiencing hard stools, irregular difficulty or frequency of bowel movements, usually less than three times a week, are some signs of constipation.
One reason for the link between constipation and pregnancy is because the pregnancy hormones racing around your body slow down you digestive system to allow your body to absorb as many nutrients as possible from your food to help your growing baby. Because of this, more water is absorbed from the food you eat and stools become dryer and more difficult for your intestines to move along and out of your body.
- Mondelli,M.; Rossi,S.; Monti,E.; Aprile,I.; Caliandro,P.; Pazzaglia,C.; Romano,C.; Padua,L. (2007) Long term follow-up of carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy: a cohort study and review of the literature. Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol. 2007 Sep;47(6):259â€“71.
- Ostgaard HC, Andersson GB, Karlsson K (May 1991). “Prevalence of back pain in pregnancy”. Spine 16 (5): 549â€“52. doi:10.1097/00007632-199105000-00011. PMID 1828912.
- Atroshi, I.; Gummesson, C; Johnsson, R; Ornstein, E; Ranstam, J; Rosn, I (1999). “Prevalence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in a General Population“. JAMA 282 (2): 153â€“158. doi:10.1001/jama.282.2.153. PMID 10411196.
- Selby, Warwick; Corte, Crispin (August 2010). “Managing constipation in adults“. Australian Prescriber 33 (4): 116â€“9. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- World Health Organization (2008). Worldwide prevalence of anaemia 1993â€“2005. Geneva: World Health Organization. ISBN 9789241596657.