Pregnancy Planning (cont.)

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What are examples of commonly-used medications that are dangerous in pregnancy?

Many women do not know that over-the-counter medications can be dangerous. In fact, many prescription and over-the-counter medications harm the fetus very early in pregnancy at a time that the mother does not even know she is pregnant. Even aspirin use by the mother can cause defects in the fetus. As soon as pregnancy is being contemplated, women should avoid all over-the-counter and prescription medications until reviewed with their doctor.

Acne medications, such as isotretinoin (Accutane) can cause birth defects, and should be discontinued before conception. Since many medications and substances can affect fetal growth and development, pregnancy planning is important so that potentially harmful substances can be stopped before conceiving.

Unplanned pregnancy during oral contraceptive use is not felt to pose a significant danger to the fetus, although deliberate use of oral contraceptives during pregnancy is not advisable. Women who become pregnant during oral contraceptive use have the same risk of birth defects in their newborns as the general population of women, in the range of 2% to 3%.

How do kidney and heart disease affect pregnancy?

Because pregnancy is associated with an increase in blood volume and an increase in cardiac output as well as other changes in the circulatory system, many types of heart disease may worsen or be associated with poor outcome during pregnancy. While many mild chronic heart conditions may be well tolerated during pregnancy, other conditions pose a significant risk to mother and fetus. Women with preexisting heart disease should always consult an expert when planning a pregnancy to examine their own degree of risk, potential outcomes, and treatment options.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/9/2014

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Pregnancy Planning - Lifestyle Changes Question: Please describe the changes you have made to your lifestyle in preparation for becoming pregnant.
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Pregnancy Planning - Infections Risk Question: Please share some of your infection risk and concern during pregnant.
Pregnancy Planning - Symptoms Question: Please share your experience with early pregnancy symptom.