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Assisted Birth: 3 Most Important Things to Know

Assisted Birth

An assisted birth is considered in cases when during the normal vaginal delivery, the baby needs to be assisted with instruments in order to be born. These instruments are usually attached into the baby’s head. It has been estimated that about one in eight birth is assisted.

What Is an Assisted Birth?

Assistance during childbirth is usually needed in cases when labor has been long, tiring the mother. Through assisted birth the mum, as well as the baby are helped. Long and slow labors are more likely during the first childbirth (Read also: Check List for Just Pregnant Women), while in cases of a second or third childbirth the labor period is shorter in time.

During pregnancy (Learn also: Fit While Pregnant) the baby is developed into the female’s uterus for approximately 40 weeks (Read also: First Trimester of Pregnancy). When the fetus is matures, the labor begins. During labor the baby goes through a series of movements that help it get through the birth canal. However, in some cases the baby gets stuck in the birth canal. In these cases, when the baby gets stuck into the birth canal, uter is the only solution.

What Instruments Are Used for Assisted Birth?

The instruments used for assisted birth are forceps and ventouse.

The forceps is a metal instrument consisted of two branches that during assisted childbirth are positioned around the head of the baby.

The ventouse or the vacuum extractor has a cup which is attached to a suction device. The cup is put into the baby’s head and vacuum is created in order to help the baby get out. Once the cup is inserted into the vagina and placed on the baby’s head, suction is applied using a manual or electrical pump. The suction gently pulls the baby, until the head emerges from the birth canal. At this point the cup is removed and the baby is delivered normally. Vacuum extractors are not recommended in cases when the baby is less than 34 weeks old, when there is a breech birth and when the baby is presented with its face into the birth canal.

When Is an Assisted Birth Necessary?

Cases when an assisted birth is needed include:

  • The mother is exhausted and she can’t push any more
  • The baby is distressed during the pushing stage of the labor
  • The baby is not making progress through the birth canal
  • There is a mother’s health condition that doesn’t allow her to push for too long, such as suffering from a heart disease, etc.

Forceps and Vacuum Delivery

Both of these two instruments have their benefits, but also their risks and possible complications after their usage for the mother and for the baby.

When ventouse is used, the chances of significant damage to the perineum or vagina are lower, when compared with forceps. However, a ventouse is less likely to be successful in helping the baby to be delivered. The baby will probably have a temporary swelling on the head and there is also a higher possibility of the baby having retinal bleeding in the eyes, even though this complication is very uncommon.

In the other hand, a forceps is more successful at helping the baby to be delivered, when compared to ventouse. However, in cases when a forceps is used episiotomy is necessary, sometimes even accompanied with tearing of the perineum or vagina, causing a significant damage. There is also the possibility of redness or bruising on the baby’s face. After the use of forceps during childbirth, the women might also experience incontinence problems, wind and problems with bowel movements, which are usually only for a short period of time after childbirth.

However, it is all up to your doctor to decide which of the two instruments is better for you and your baby to use when they are needed. If the baby needs to be born quickly, forceps is a better choice.


First Trimester of Pregnancy: What to Expect

First Trimester of Pregnancy: What to Expect

First Trimester of Pregnancy: What to Expect

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful and exciting moments in a woman’s life. The pregnancy is classified into three trimesters. The most difficult and yet more exciting is the first trimester.

Normally, after the fertilization the egg spends 3 -7 days traveling from fallopian tubes toward the uterus. Once the egg reaches the uterus it will float for several days until it gets implanted into the uterine wall.


1 to 3 Month Pregnancy Symptoms

During the first trimester many women are not aware that they are carrying a child. Once the pregnancy is confirmed, a lot of changes will occur in a short period of time, both for the mother and the zygote.

The main symptoms of pregnancy include: fatigue, mood changes, dizziness, morning sickness, breast tenderness, food cravings, etc. Nausea and vomiting will more than likely stop by the end of the first trimester, though rare, it may continue throughout pregnancy.


First Prenatal Appointment and Tests

Once the pregnancy is confirmed, the first prenatal appointment is very important. A total check –up as well as a deep medical history are necessary. Once a woman finds out that she is carrying a child, a full physical examination is routinely performed. Other tests which are performed include:

  • Blood type, Rh factor and antibody screening
  • Complete blood count
  • Rubella immunity
  • Screening for Hepatitis B
  • Screening for Syphilis
  • HIV testing, etc.


Physical Changes During the First Trimester

  • Vaginal bleeding – About 25% of pregnant women experience slight bleeding during their first trimester. Early in the pregnancy, light spotting may be a sign that the fertilized embryo has implanted in the uterus. However, if you have significant bleeding, cramping, or sharp pain in your abdomen, call your doctor. These could be signs of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
  • Enlarged Breasts – result due to hormonal changes and high levels of progesterone and estrogen.
  • Breast tenderness – result from high levels of progesterone and estrogen. The nipples may darken 1-2 shades, white bumps may appear, an increase in blood flow to the area may also bring out blue lines in the breast, which are actually blood vessels.
  • Shortness of breath is usually caused by an expanding uterus or the hormone, progesterone.
  • Fatigue – results from the stress that an growing infant puts on a female body.
  • Irritability and mood swings – occur due to fatigue and surging hormones.
  • Morning sickness and nausea – are very common during pregnant women. These symptoms usually go away after the first trimester.
  • Frequent urination – occurs due to a rapid growth of the uterus, which puts pressure on internal organs, including the bladder.
  • Constipation – occurs often during pregnancy as the high levels of progesterone relax the smooth muscles, causing the intestines to slow down.
  • Discharge – thin and milky white discharge is normal during early pregnancy. If you notice any possible change in your vaginal discharge please consult your doctor.
  • Heartburn – it is normal to experience heartburn during pregnancy as the body produces more progesterone. It is known that progesterone relaxes the smooth muscles, including the muscles of the esophagus, which allows the acid to get back from the stomach to your esophagus. To avoid the heartburn, eat frequent, smaller meals throughout the day, don’t lie down right after eating, and avoid greasy, spicy, and acidic food. You can also try raising your pillows when you sleep.
  • Weight gain – during the first trimester it is normal to gain about 3-6 pounds. Be careful and don’t overdo it. You don’t need to eat for to. The most important thing is to eat healthy and various types of food in order to make sure your baby is getting all the nutrients he/she needs. Only 150 calories are needed extra during the first trimester of pregnancy. Get those calories the healthy way, by adding extra fruits and vegetables, milk, whole-grain bread, and lean meat to your diet.


Vaginal Bleeding After Sexual Intercourse

Vaginal Bleeding After Sexual Intercourse

Vaginal Bleeding After Sexual Intercourse

Bleeding after sexual intercourse is not common. The blood may originate from the vagina, cervix or uterus. There are many possible causes of vaginal bleeding after sex. However, some of them are more common than others.


Common Causes of Vaginal Bleeding

  • Trauma to the vagina is the most common cause of vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse. Bleeding can be caused due to losing of the virginity, breaking of the hymen, vaginal tears, etc. Any sexually active woman may bleed after rough sex. If trauma is the cause of vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse, there is always the possibility of having vaginal bleeding again during the healing process. Any slightest trauma after the first one will damage the granulation tissue, causing it to bleed again. This will normally delay the healing process.
  • Vaginitis (infection of the vagina) is the second most common cause of bleeding after sexual intercourse. Vaginitis can be caused by many sexually transmitted infections or not. Chlamydia, Candida or Trichomonas are the most common microorganisms that cause vaginal infections. These microorganisms affect the superficial tissue layer of the vagina, which becomes fragile and even a small friction may cause vaginal bleeding.
  • Cervicitis (infection of the cervix) together with vaginitis, are the second most common cause of bleeding after sexual intercourse. Cervicitis and vaginitis are mostly present together and they can be caused from sexually transmitted infections or not. Depending from its cause, treatment with antibiotics or antifungals is necessary.
  • Cervical ectropion – a condition when the inner lining of the cervix protrudes into the vagina through the cervical opening.
  • Cervical polyps – noncancerous, benign growths on the cervix
  • Cervical cancer – bleeding in middle aged women requires an immediate checkup and assessment. This is necessary in order to rule out cervical cancer as vaginal bleeding is the first most common sign of this disease. The risk of getting cervical cancer increases after the age of 35. If detected in early stages this type of cancer is curable, This is the reason that every uncommon vaginal bleeding, and especially vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse in middle aged women should be taken serious and should be evaluated. Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the main treatment modalities.
  • Vascular abnormalities – are a rare cause of vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse. However, the bleeding may be severe in these cases.
  • Hematological causes – like hemophilia lead to clotting problems. Poor clotting causes excessive bleeding.
  • Incidental causes – there is always a possibility of having menstrual bleeding instead of a pathological bleeding after sexual intercourse. In these cases it is very easy to identify the menstrual bleeding by its consistency and texture.
  • Inadequate lubrication or foreplay, etc.


Other Symptoms While Bleeding After Sex

In cases when you have vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse, it is recommended to consult your gynecologist and make a total check- up in order to determine its cause. Please contact your doctor immediately in cases when except vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse you are also having:

  • Severe abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge that is smelly and not in its normal color
  • Vaginal bleeding if you are middle – aged


Vaginal Bleeding While Pregnant

While being pregnant, every vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse should be considered seriously and an immediate checkup is necessary. Having a placenta previa or a low – lying placenta may lead to vaginal bleeding during sexual intercourse.


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This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.