Hot Flushes in Early Pregnancy

Hot Flushes in Early Pregnancy

It is perfectly normal for pregnant women to experience hot flushes in early pregnancy, although they are more common after the first trimester. One out of three women gets them. These flushes are caused due to the increased blood flow to the skin, affected by the change in hormones. During pregnancy a continuous hormonal change takes place. It causes women to experience a lot of natural yet uncomfortable physical phenomenon. One of the common reaction is hot flushes. They make you feel hotter than normal even on a chilly winter night. Thankfully they do not last for more than 5 minutes. They usually occur on nights. That is why pregnant women are advised to dress comfortably and while experiencing this they can remove layers of clothing to assuage its effect. Women, who experience this a lot and want to know more about its cause and treatment, should read this article properly.

Related Post: Progesterone in Pregnancy Function

How to Know If You’re Having Hot Flushes in Early Pregnancy?

To know whether you are having hot flushes or not, you must know its symptoms:

  • The most common symptom is heavy sweating, especially at night.
  • They may feel hot sensations on the face, around the neck and breasts.
  • They may feel dizzy
  • Some may get headaches
  • Heart palpitations are another symptom.

. About 48% of the pregnant women only have mild and unnoticed hot flushes, whereas about 39% have them a bit more making them feel it. But they are tolerable. Only about 13% have an extreme case, which makes them seek their gynecologists attention.

Note:  Hot flushes are absolutely normal and should be differentiated from fever. They do not cause the rise of the body temperature and they subside in a period of about 5 to 10 minutes. A change in temperature causing it to go over 100°F is not hot flushes and should be treated likewise. It may be an infection. Fevers are dangerous to pregnant women.

Why Do Pregnant Woman Experience Hot Flushes?

We all want to know what causes various reactions during our pregnancy, Hot flushes just being one of them. Let’s discuss some of the reason of hot flushes :

Hormones changes: The hormones in the body go crazy during pregnancy. The level of some just rises up while the other goes down rapidly. These cause a flow of blood to the surface of the skin, causing the temperature of the skin to rise up a few notches. This temperature rise causes hot flushes and also red and patchy skin. They may be caused by any of the following:

  • Stress and traumas causing an intense emotional mental condition.
  • Too much spicy food
  • Too much heat exposure

Some women may or may not experience hot flushes during the early stages of pregnancy because they are more common during the second and third trimesters. They also occur after pregnancy due to reduced hormonal changes.

Ways of Relieving Hot Flushes in Early Pregnancy

Hot flushes can make your already otherwise comfortable pregnancy uncomfortable. There are no ways to stop them m but there certainly are ways to minimize their effects.

  • Sleep in a Cool Room.  For those who experience hot flushes during early pregnancy a lot, they should make sure to sleep or be in a cool room during the occurrence, as they will conveniently cool down the body temperature.
  • Remain in the Shade.  Too much sun can cause hot flushes hence it should be avoided. Cover yourself up in sun and sun tanning is a big no no.
  • Drink Plenty of Water.  Keeping your body adequately hydrated is vital during pregnancy. Apart from other benefits, keeping hot flushes at bay is another benefit of drinking water.
  • Live Healthily. Strong flavored food, spices, caffeine, alcohol and smoking not only causes more hot flashes but in the long run, they are harmful to the child’s growth. Healthy weight during pregnancy can help with these flushes.
  • Keep Cool with Cooling Aids.  Keep cooling agents like a water spray, wet wipes and a hand fan handy. They aid during such flushes.
  • Use Cool Water on the Skin. Put your wrists under running water and wipe your neck and forehead with a cool wet cloth. You can also sit with your legs in the water. Better yet, you can go for a bath or a foot spa. They cool the body temperature fast and relieve you of the uncomfortable hot flushes.
  • Avoid Stress and Stay Calm. Going through stress and too much emotional exposure also causes hot flushes. Try to calm yourself down by diverting your mind and deep breathing. Some meditation and calming exercises can also relieve stress.
  • Wear Appropriate Clothing.  Always make sure to wear comfortable clothes that are made of natural fibre. They make it easy for the skin to breathe and remain cool. Cotton and linen are suggested. Wear easily removable clothes.
  • Use Doctor-Approved Remedies. Those who suffer from the extreme cases of hot flushes may consult a doctor and go for some mild sedatives, antidepressants, and high blood pressure medicines. They may also go for herbal remedies or flax seeds and soy for relief.

Progesterone During Pregnancy

Progesterone During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the maintenance and ovulation of the process is handled by a vital hormone that we often call progesterone. This belongs to the steroidal class where the hormone itself is produced by the female ovary during the early stages of incurring pregnancy. As the placenta in the system develops with time and forms an appropriate size, the production of the progesterone during pregnancy hormone is taken over by it. The progressive nature of the levels of this hormone increases for the next nine months and in the end triggers the labor contractions and the delivery process. Post to that the levels go back down. 

Click here to know How much time does it take to get pregnant after sex?

Progesterone During Pregnancy – The Usual Functions

There is often a connection amongst pregnancy, babies and the hormone progesterone which many find difficult to relate to. If you learn a little about the functions and working mechanisms of the progesterone during pregnancy, maybe you can relate to it a bit better.

  1. 1. Prepare for Conception

The egg attached to the ovary starts ovulating and the tissue which goes by the name corpus luteum that holds the egg to the placenta now starts producing the progesterone during pregnancy. It starts by thickening the lining to the uterus so that the implantation of the egg is easy. Once the embryo implants itself the conception process starts. The ovary after that continues to produce the progesterone for the few initial weeks of pregnancy mainly to sustain. If malfunction occurs during the implantation process, the progesterone along with the estrogen level drops breaking down the endometrium causing menstruation to occur.

  1. 2. Support Pregnancy
  • With the placenta growing, the levels of progesterone increases too. Within the following 8 weeks, the placenta substitutes the ovary in production of progesterone. Ever since then the progesterone production is strictly limited to the placenta which relaxes the uterine muscles and prevents premature contractions. This also aid in stretching the walls to accommodate the growing fetus inside.
  • The progesterone also helps them other’s immune system go through a physiological change so that the baby starting to grow within is not destroyed or attacked by the immune system.
  • Progesterone during pregnancy also increases glycogen and arterial blood in the uterine linings so that the baby gets ample nutrition.
  • To prevent bacteria from encroaching on the uterus, it thickens the  cervix and creates a mucous plug.
  1. 3. Prevent Preterm Labor

FDA in the year 2011 approved the usage of injecting progesterone to the body to avoid preterm labor possibilities. This was applicable for women who had already suffered one preterm labor where it had to be injected 16-20 weeks from the labor.  However, if you are bearing more than one fetus, it is probably not a good idea to inject yourself with progesterone. Even if you have never delivered before and is at a risk of preterm labor, the same case applies.

Progesterone during pregnancy- Level check

Even though progesterone is extremely important a hormone required by the body of pregnant women, the women should always conform to certain levels of progesterone throughout the entire pregnancy term to ensure they have a smooth delivery process and a normal baby.

The levels are as follows:

  1. One to two weeks: For the first two weeks into pregnancy, your ovary would normally produce about 1-1.5ng/ml of progesterone during pregnancy. The pregnancy process is a go ever since the first day of your last period.
  2. Three to four weeks: Once the ovulation process starts the production of progesterone by the ovary increases to 2ng/ml. the fertilization process starts by the third week when the progesterone levels experience a spike of 1- 3ng/ml on a daily basis. The maximum level of progesterone at this time should be around 10-29ng/ml.
  3. Five to six weeks: By this time the normal or usual level of progesterone is 10-29ng/ml. the expected range for this would be 6-10ng/ml. owing to the progesterone at around this time the pregnancy hormone uses the nutritional supply by increasing the supply of blood to the placenta.
  4. Seven to fourteen weeks: by the seventh week the production of progesterone has been shifted to the placenta. The level stays stagnant and then experiences a spike during the end of the first trimester. The usual range right now is 15-60g/ml and it may be higher if you are bearing more than one fetus.

Progesterone during pregnancy levels- Menstrual cycle and pregnancy levels.

  1. During menstrual cycle:

Day 1-14 — 1 to 1.5ng/ml

Day 15-28 — 2-28 ng/ml

  1. During pregnancy:

First Trimester — 9-47 ng/ml

Second Trimester — 17-147 ng/ml

Third Trimester — 55-200 ng/ml

Progesterone during pregnancy- why does it lower?

If you are experiencing slight bleeding or spotting during the pregnancy term it would indicate low levels of progesterone which instantly increases the risk of miscarriage. With low progesterone levels, the symptoms leading to the loss of pregnancy along with intense sessions of cramps may also be experienced. Some causes for lowering of progesterone during pregnancy are:

  1. 1. Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy can be termed as one of the reasons why lowering of progesterone levels may occur.  However, this is quite a rare occasion. The condition mainly occurs in the event of a misplaced blastocyst in the fallopian tube.

Some of the risk factors to the ectopic pregnancy can be- pelvic inflammatory diseases, constricted fallopian tube, dizziness from blood loss, vaginal bleeding, scar tissues, endometriosis, lower back pain etc.

This is rather harmful for the patients and therefore quick medical or surgical assistance is advised at the speediest rate possible.

  1. Other causes
  • Spike in the estrogen levels
  • Inactivity
  • Resistance to insulin
  • Starving or improper balanced diet
  • Spike in the level of cortisol which is a stress hormone

Progesterone during pregnancy levels- how to deal with the lowering levels

To ensure secured pregnancy a normal level of progesterone during pregnancy is required. This allows the uterine lining to remain intact to avoid pregnancy loss. Regular check-ups with the doctor along with a nutritional healthy diet are of necessity. In many cases, supplements pertaining to progesterone needs to be ingested prior or post pregnancy.

  • Before pregnancy:

The progesterone thickens the uterine lining thereby aiding the process of implantation. Substituting the progesterone levels produced by the ovary before conception is one way.

  • After pregnancy:

To help sustain the endometrium until the point of time when the placenta, which is developed enough now, can take over the production of the hormone is another way to go.

One can opt for progesterone supplements as well.

  1. Vaginal products
  • Vaginal gel: One each day every day. This is the sole FDA-approved progesterone during pregnancy substitute that replaces the donor egg recipients and aids the transfer of frozen embryos.
  • Vaginal suppositories: This should usually have a wax base and should be used for at least twice or thrice in a day, daily. However, the FDA does not approve it even though it is quite commonly used.
  • Vaginal inserts: this is especially helpful for women under 25. FDA has approved this as a usage to supplement to progesterone but in no way should it replace the progesterone. This too is to be used at least twice or thrice in a day.
  1. Progesterone oral capsules: these are not FDA specified or approved or concocted with assistance from the FDA. This is scheduled to be used at least thrice in a day and can also be used vaginally instead of orally.
  2. 3. Injections:These are oil based and used in the general state. This is to be injected preferably on the bottom at least once in a day. This is one of the oldest and most established methods of progesterone giving.

Progesterone during pregnancy- precautions required

If you want to know about the full extent of progesterone during pregnancy, it comes with a set of precautions that one should definitely be aware about. While this is essential, spikes in the level of progesterone in an unusual manner may cause complications during pregnancy. These would usually include:

  • Constipation: apart from relaxing the muscles of the uterus wall, the progesterone also tends to smoothen the muscles pertaining to the intestines thereby slowing down or controlling your bowel movements and preventing constipation.
  • Headaches: This is mainly caused by vasodilation of the vessels that supply blood to the brain.
  • Moodiness/depression: this would usually occur during pregnancy due to an imbalance or spike in the hormones.
  • Congested nose: this helps you release nose congestion by relaxation the nostril muscles.
  • Tiredness: High levels of progesterone during pregnancy hormone at around this time would depress the central nervous system that we call the CNS causing fatigue and lethargy.
  • Tenderness in breast

How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant After Sex?

How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant After Sex

There are a number of factors that affect the speed of getting pregnant. regular intercourse has always given positive results in regards to a healthy sperm count. Healthy sperm normally has a rounded head and a long tail in order to navigate through the uterus with ease. During ejaculation up to a quarter of a billion sperm are released inside the vagina. Sperm can reach the egg in a matter of just thirty minutes but many die during this time and only a few make it past the ovarian wall. Once inside the wall sperm can live for many days. This is the best way to understand how long does it take to get pregnant after sex.

Click here to know about progesterone during pregnancy

How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant After Sex?

It is a known fact that females do not get pregnant immediately after sex because it takes up to six days for a sperm to reach an egg present in the fallopian tube and fertilize it. it then takes a period of at least six to ten days for the fertilized egg to place itself on the lining of the uterus wall so as to undergo development. The HCG hormone in humans can be used to tell pregnancy during this period of time and it is the HCG hormone which actually further facilitates the pregnancy in your body.

What is the Conception Process?

It is first very important to understand the process of conception before trying to do it. Firstly once a month the hypothalamus in the brain causes a reaction in the pituitary gland to release a hormone that causes a follicle formation of eggs in your fallopian. One egg in the bunch matures and becomes the dominant egg. Within a few days only the luteinizing hormone is released as well along with all the other hormones that are very important when trying to get pregnant and during the period of pregnancy. So when asked how long does it take to get pregnant after sex you know what to say.

The egg once released from the ovary causes a heightened estrogen production. The egg at this time must be fertilized by a sperm. An average ejaculate contains 30 percent of sperm that are abnormally formed and 25 percent of sperm that are just bad swimmers but the comforting factor is that an average male ejaculate contains at least a quarter of a billion in sperm count.

The normal trajectory of sperm is through the cervix, uterus and then the fallopian tube where one very lucky sperm gets to penetrate an egg causing a pregnancy.

What Affects the Success Rate of Conception?

The following factors given below are known to affect the rate of conception:

  • Genetic Makeup. The human body is an every changing medium that takes decisions on its own at times for the body. There are times when the genetic makeup of the egg or the sperm causing biochemical issues which result in the body rejecting a pregnancy before the lady even knows that she is pregnant. the body has a habit of monitoring any non-viable changes and correcting it when necessary.
  • Healthy Bodies. It is always better to stay healthy during your period of trials for conception because your health factors affect the ability to get pregnant to a great extent. Your dietary factors, exercise routines, drug or tobacco use all have hands to play when you want to learn how long does it take to get pregnant after sex.
  • Proper Timing. Proper timing is probably one of the best things you could do to actually facilitate a pregnancy but it has to be during the time of ovulation. A couple can indulge in sex a couple of times a day but it hardly matters if the woman is not ovulating which is why you should try to have sex during the period of ovulation.
  • Sperm Quality. The health and quality of sperm is also very important in the event of conceptualization. It is a noted fact that a person having sex on a regular basis has more motile and healthy sperm than any other human being. It is also a noted fact that staying in immobile water such as a bath tub or hot tub can reduce the motility of your sperm in the long run.
  • Body Weight. Body weight has a stronger affect on getting pregnant than most know. For a man with a body mass index (BMI) of over 25 which is obese it is very difficult to provide a steady flow of hormones that would facilitate in having a baby. On the other hand body weight in a lady affects the possibilities of having a baby as well. Ladies with a body mass index of below 19 is less likely to get pregnant even when covering all the bases and knowing how long does it take to get pregnant after sex. It is seen that in skinny ladies having a baby is much harder as menstrual cycles are not regular making ovulation a very unlikely effect.

Though it is very highly believed that a certain sexual position increase your chance of getting pregnant or determination of the sex of the baby can be done with this process aligned with the time of the day it is actually just a popular myth.

Fetal Hiccups

Fetal Hiccups

Pregnant women have a lot of insecurities and doubts to deal with, especially if it is their first pregnancy. One of the many things that they experience is fetal hiccups during pregnancy. It occurs when the fetus breathes in the amniotic fluid. For any first time mother, it is important to know the complete details about fetal hiccups and how they feel.

What are fetal hiccups and how are they caused?

Fetal hiccups signify the development of a newly formed nervous system in the fetus. When the fetus first develops a working nervous system, he/she sends signals to the diaphragm so that it starts working. When the diaphragm contracts, the fetus sucks in the amniotic fluid surrounding him/her, which causes a hiccupping effect. Since the lungs are still underdeveloped, the baby has no risk of drowning or choking in the fluid.

Fetal hiccups during pregnancy is not a compulsory phenomenon. They may or may not occur at all, but in either case, they pose no threat to the mother or the child. There are many things that can cause fetal hiccups. Let’s find out what these causes are.

  • Reflex developmentFetal hiccups are common when the baby develops the reflex to suckle, which is when the mother develops the habit of breastfeeding children. Fetal hiccups during breastfeeding prevent the milk from getting into the infant’s lungs and choking him/her.
  • Diaphragm contraction – Contracting of the diaphragm is the first sign of the developing nervous system and also the first time the fetus starts hiccupping. The developing nervous system of the fetus starts sending signals to the diaphragm so that it contracts, allowing the baby to breathe. To compensate for the sudden contraction, the baby starts to hiccup.
  • Compression of the cord – Sometimes the umbilical cord wraps around the neck of the fetus, causing an increase in the number of fetal hiccups. The number of hiccups increases because the wrapped umbilical cord around the neck restricts the amount of oxygen flow into the fetus, thus increasing baby movements. Although it is not considered to be anything dangerous, it is always better to get it checked by the doctor.
  • Fetal hiccups during pregnancy can also be caused anytime the brain thinks that the baby is preparing to eat or feed or expel waste material. Fetal hiccups are also good for the heart muscles of the baby, and for respiration as well.

How do fetal hiccups during pregnancy feel?

Fetal hiccups during pregnancy can start anytime, from the first trimester to the third trimester. If they do start in the first trimester, the mother would hardly feel anything. However, if the hiccups take place in the second or third trimester, the mother is more likely to experience a soft kicking sensation in the belly. Any sort of movement in the belly is, of course, a sign of the good health of the baby. It is only towards the end of the third trimester that the mother really starts experiencing proper hiccups in the belly.

How should you deal with fetal hiccups?

During the first trimester, fetal hiccups are hardly noticeable. During the second trimester, they are felt more like a kick than anything else. It is only during the third trimester that the real hiccups can be felt in the mother’s belly. However, much like in the first and second trimesters, the mother has no reason to worry about these hiccups. All she has to do is keep monitoring the hiccups much like the fetal kicks, and tell the doctor if anything seems amiss. Sometimes the baby moves around in the amniotic sac too much, causing a little discomfort. In that case, the mother can go for an ultrasound and see if everything is alright. Most importantly, the mother should remain calm during this period and not panic because unnecessary panic is not good during pregnancy.