9 – Pregnancy Q & A with Mikaela

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Hi Everyone – Dr. Mikaela Finn here. So glad you dropped by! I’m an obstetrician-gynecologist (passed my exams 6 months ago –yeah!) and I thought I’d share the nine most common questions I’m asked about conceiving and early pregnancy.

 

 

caution children signDo you need to have an orgasm in order to conceive? MF: For the men – yes.  (Although, keep in mind it only takes one sperm to do the trick and there may be a few in the ejaculate that occurs before orgasm.)

For the ladies –no. It’s always a bonus :), but it’s not necessary. The contractions of the uterus may help the sperm travel to the fallopian tubes faster, but it’s not essential to get pregnant.

 

If I swallow sperm, will I get pregnant? MF: Nope. The little swimmers can’t reach the egg this way and the high acid of the stomach will destroy them.

Will using birth control affect my fertility? MF: Generally no, except for depo provera (injections). If your periods were regular before you went on birth control, they generally will be regular when you stop. Menses (periods) usually return within a month or two of stopping birth control, however there is a possibility of getting pregnant right away (hence the pregnancies that occur when one birth control pill is missed). It’s usually recommended to wait until you’ve had one normal period before starting to try to get pregnant, but that’s so it’s easier to calculate the baby’s due date.

Can I use hot tubs and saunas if I want to get pregnant? 

stock photo men's washroomstock photo woman's washroomMF: For the men – better not. Testicles hang low for a reason. Too much heat (even body heat) can affect sperm production and motility. It takes 3 months to produce a mature sperm cell so using a hot tub in February may affect sperm until April or May. So avoid the hot tub (and the tighty whities underwear)!

For the women – before you’re pregnant it’s fine, but a raised body temperature in early pregnancy can affect the baby and may increase the risk of neural tube defects, like spina bifida. So if you’re trying, it may be better to avoid it, just in case you’ve been successful!

 

Are there any steps I should take if I’m thinking of getting pregnant? MF: Stop smoking. Stop drinking alcohol. Don’t use over-the-counter meds unless prescribed by your doctor. Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date (more than a month before you get pregnant). Start folic acid (0.4 mg – 0.8 mg a day).

 

little cartoon girl Can I eat fish if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding? MF: Limit or avoid the long-living, higher-end-of-the-food chain fish like fresh or frozen shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish, marlin, orange roughy, escolar, and canned white albacore tuna. You’re trying to avoid high levels of mercury, which can harm the baby.

Speaking of toxic minerals, high lead levels aren’t good for an unborn baby either so if you live in an older house (built before 1978), check to see if the paint on the walls and woodwork contains lead.

 

What about drinking herbal teas in pregnancy? MF: Avoid chamomile tea, sage tea, parsley tea, teas with aloe, coltsfoot, juniper berries, pennyroyal, buckthorn bark, comfrey, Labrador tea, sassafras, duck roots, lobelia and senna leaves. Fresh or dried parsley and sage are okay to use in cooking though.

 

stock photo I need coffee

 

Caffeine? MF: Keep it to less than 200 to 300 mg of caffeine a day. More has been linked to miscarriages and low birth weight. That’s roughly 1-2 cups of coffee. Don’t forget there’s caffeine in chocolate, energy drinks and cola soft drinks, too.

 

A comment about food poisoning….  MF: Never pleasant and worse when you’re pregnant so cook everything well. No raw fish, shellfish, meat, or eggs. Watch the refrigerated pates. Use pasteurized honey, milk, and cheese and avoid raw sprouts especially alfalfa sprouts, raw clover, radish, and mung beans.

And I highly recommend using the parking spots reserved for pregnant woman and taking advantage of all the ‘door opening, people offering you their seat’ politeness. The special treatment is well deserved!

Well I better run, folks – the delivery room is calling. I hope this has been helpful – keep in mind that medical advice changes often as new research is done – so always check with your own doctor when you have a medical question. I hear Sam will be here tomorrow with 8 fact or fiction pearls about the eye. I got a sneak peak and you’ll never believe what sport causes the most eye injuries in the USA! I won’t spoil the surprise, you’ll find out tomorrow! Thanks again for stopping by for Day 9 of the Perfectly Honest Countdown! 

2 Comments

  1. Comment by Rebecca:

    Linda- I wish you all the best with your new book! Congrats! Sounds like a great read!

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