Pregnancy : Risks, Complications And Contraceptive Essay, Research Paper
PREGNANCY:RISKS, COMPLICATIONS AND CONTRACEPTIVES Part I. Risks and Complications to the woman and child during pregnancy a. Introduction There are many risks that a woman (and the child) undertake before, during andafter pregnancy. These are due to a varied number of effects such as exposure totemperature extremes (very hot or very cold environments), radiation (from x-rays anddental instruments), certain harmful chemicals, drugs and certain contraband materials(such as marijuana smoke which can cause fetal prematurity). An external agent thatcauses birth defects is called teratogen (From the Greek word teratos which means monster and genes which means born ). Most women prefer some kind of anesthesia to alleviate the pain associated withchildbirth. Natural (unmedicated) childbirth, however, is becoming more popular, in partbecause many women are aware and concerned that the anesthesia and medication givento them is rapidly transported across the placenta to the unborn baby. Heavy doses ofanesthesia can make the newborn baby less alert after birth. b. Congenital Birth Defects, Conditions and Abnormalities and their causes Developmental abnormalities in the baby is the direct result of three influences;environmental, maternal and genetics. Meaning that a baby can be affected by things fromthe outside, things that a mother does, and diseases and conditions passed down from themother s (or father s) biological family. 1. Genetic abnormalities and disorders A. Sickle cell anemia Sickle cell anemia occurs when there is a mutation in the gene responsible forcreating hemoglobin. The structure of the oxygen-carrying protein in the humanbloodstream is critically altered, changing the red blood cells into the shape of a sickle. B. Down Syndrome Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder occurring in 1 out of 800 child births.Visually, they have mild-to-severe characteristics that include a small skull, extra folds ofskin under the eyes, a flattened nose bridge, and a large, protruding tongue. Thiscondition was formerly know as mongolism because the people which had DownSyndrome were thought to resemble Mongols or Asians. Down syndrome results when a person inherits all or part of an extra copy ofchromosome 21. This can occur in a variety of ways, the causes of which are unknown. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that theso-called triple-screen blood test be offered to all pregnant women. This test measures thelevels of three chemicals in the blood of the pregnant woman to indicate the baby’s risk ofDown syndrome. If the risk is high, amniocentesis, a procedure for removing a sample ofthe amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus, is administered to confirm the findings from theblood tests. Fetal cells are present in their fluid and can be checked for the presence of thechromosomal disorder. C – Color Blindness Color Blindness is a defect of vision affecting the ability to distinguish colors,occurring mostly in males. Dichromatism (partial-colorblindness the most common formof color blindness) is identified as a sex-linked hereditary characteristic. 1. Genetic abnormalities and disorders – Conclusion There are many more genetic abnormalities and disorders listed in variousGeneticist periodicals which include cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, mental retardation,muscular dystrophy, testicular atrophy, spina bifida (which is a defective closure of thevertebral column). 2. Non-genetic disorders, complications and abnormalitiesAbout 15 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, most of which occur between the4th and 12th weeks of pregnancy. A physician should be contacted immediately if awoman suspects that she is pregnant and then experiences severe abdominal cramping orvaginal bleeding. A – Ecoptic pregnancy One rare but life-threatening complication is ectopic pregnancy, in which the
fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, in the abdomen, or in a Fallopian tube.Symptoms include sudden, intense pain in the lower abdomen about the seventh or eightweek of pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy can result in massive internal bleeding andpossibly death. B – ToxemiaToxemia is another potentially serious complication of late pregnancy. Symptoms includehigh blood pressure; rapid, large weight gain, due to edema (swelling), ) and protein in theurine. If untreated, toxemia can lead to seizures and coma and death of the infant. Oncesevere toxemia is diagnosed, the infant is usually delivered as soon as possible to protectboth mother and child. 2. Non-genetic disorders, complications and abnormalities – Conclusion There are obviously many more disorders that can be found with deeper medicalresearch, so the general advice for a woman is to visit the doctor often and find out yourrisks and family history. Part II – Contraceptives – Condoms, Abstinence, Pills and other ways to avoidpregnancy- Introduction (Historical Methods) A variety of birth control methods and techniques have been used throughouthistory and across vast cultures. In ancient Egypt women actually used dried crocodiledung and honey as vaginal suppositories to prevent pregnancy. Primitive, but effective. One of the earliest mentions of contraceptive vaginal suppositories appears in theEbers Medical Papyrus, a medical guide written between 1550 and 1500 BC. The guidesuggests that a fiber tampon moistened with an herbal mixture of acacia, dates,colocynth, and honey would prevent pregnancy. The fermentation of this mixture can result in the production of lactic acid, whichtoday is recognized as a spermicide. The concept of the IUD was developed by ancient Turks and Arabs who insertedsmooth pebbles into the uterus of a camel to prevent it from getting pregnant duringtreks across the desert. Although the use of colorful penis coverings and decorations can be traced backto ancient Eqypt, it is likely that their function was more decorative than contraceptive.In the 16th century the Italian anatomist Fallopius (for whom the tubes that carry theeggs from the ovary to the uterus were named) described linen sheaths to be used toprotect against syphilis. Condoms made of sheep intestines were created by a physicianin the court of King Charles II of England. It was not until after the vulcanization ofrubber in 1844 that the condom was widely used as a birth control device. A – Male and Female Condoms A male condom is a thin sheath made of latex, or less commonly, animalmembrane, that fits over an erect penis. The condom is inexpensive, easy to use, doesnot require a prescription, and has no known side effects. It is currently one of the mostpopular forms of reversible contraception in the United States. The female condom is an elongated polyurethane sac with a ring on each end.One ring is inserted into the vagina, while the other ring remains outside, partiallycovering the external genital organs. B – DiaphragmThe diaphragm is a shallow, molded cup of thin rubber with a flexible rim. Beforeintercourse, spermicide must be placed inside the cup and around the inside of the rim ofthe diaphragm. The woman then inserts the diaphragm into her vagina so that it coversthe cervix (the opening of the uterus into the vagina). The diaphragm is held in place byvaginal muscles and pubic bone where it prevents the passage of sperm from the vaginato the uterus. The spermicide kills any sperm that are able to pass by the diaphragm.Diaphragms come in various sizes to fit the cervix. They are available only from healthcare professionals who ensure that the device fits properly. In typical use, the diaphragmis about 82 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. C – Abstinence ab+sti+nence (Xb st -n ns) n. 1. Deliberate self-restraint. 2. Abstention from sexualactivity Part II – Contraceptives – Condoms, Abstinence, Pills and other ways to avoidpregnancy- Conclusion Birth control has left a relative mark on society; It has allowed us to control ourpopulation and our lives. One easy way to prevent AIDS, Syphillis and other STDsincluding children is to simply abstain.