Pregnancy is a time of many emotions: excitement, fear and anxiety to name a few. It is also a time when many questions arise from the mom-to-be. Women’s Healthcare of Morristown OB-GYN’s Michelle R. Lemberger, MD, FACOG, and Kim C. Brooks, MD, FACOG, answer a few most commonly asked questions about pregnancy.
How likely is it that you can get pregnant while on your period?
For women with regular, predictable menstrual cycles, conceiving while on their period is highly unlikely. However, when menstruation is less consistent or irregular, ovulation may not occur when women are expecting it and conceiving is possible. Also, some women will experience bleeding at the time of ovulation and mistake it for their menstrual period.
How likely is it that you can pregnant from pre-ejaculation?
Pre-ejaculate can contain sperm in men who have not had a vasectomy or have sterility for other reasons. Unprotected intercourse is always a risk for pregnancy, as well as sexually transmitted infections.
What are some of the different types of pain you might feel during various stages of pregnancy?
- Mild cramping: In the early stages of pregnancy, it is normal to have some mild cramping as the uterus grows. Severe pain, especially when associated with bleeding, requires additional evaluation and should not be ignored.
- Sharp lower abdomen pains: During the second trimester, a common cause of pain in pregnancy is round ligament pain. This can be a sharp pain in the side of the lower abdomen that is worse with changes in positions, such as rolling over in bed or getting up from a seated position.
- Sciatica: A pain in the buttocks that radiates down the back of the leg, sciatica is also a common pain in pregnancy. This can occur in the early stages of pregnancy when the growing uterus presses on the sciatic nerve in the pelvis, but more often occurs later in pregnancy during the second and third trimesters.
- Sharp vaginal pains: During the third trimester, sharp shooting pains in the vagina can also be normal. The sharp pains tend to last for a few seconds and go away. These pains are related to the fetus pressing on nerves in the pelvis and are a normal “discomfort” of pregnancy.
- Mild contractions: Mild, irregular contractions can be normal in pregnancy. These are typically referred to as Braxton Hicks contractions. However, if it is prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy and you are experiencing regular uterine contractions occurring less than every ten minutes that do not resolve with rest and increased water intake, evaluation is required.
- Severe abdominal pain: Severe abdominal pain in pregnancy can be associated with infection, premature labor, placental abruption or severe preeclampsia and requires evaluation with a healthcare provider.
- Other pains: Other medical issues such as appendicitis, kidney infections and gallbladder problems can still occur during pregnancy. If you have pain associated with a fever, excessive nausea or vomiting, or vaginal bleeding, seek medical attention promptly.
What are some of the common risk factors and complications that can occur during pregnancy? Who is most likely to experience these complications?
Maternal risk factors, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and a history of previous pregnancy complications, can lead to being higher risk for complications. These and other health problems can put both the mother and her fetus at risk during the pregnancy and immediately afterward.
During an otherwise “normal” pregnancy, a woman may experience issues such as hyperemesis gravidarum, preterm labor, preeclampsia, or maternal illnesses such as the flu or COVID-19 infections. All of these conditions can affect both the mother and her unborn.
Many of the pregnancies we encounter are low-risk and uneventful, but any pregnancy can have complications arise. The decision to become pregnant or carry a child carries risks each time.
If you have other questions related to pregnancy or want to meet with an OB-GYN at Women’s Healthcare of Morristown, call (423) 492-7100 to schedule an appointment.