Pregnancy Planning (cont.)

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Can I travel by air during pregnancy?

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology guidelines say that air travel is safe for most pregnant women up to 36 weeks gestation, as long as there are no obstetric or maternal complications already diagnosed. Examples of special situations would be women with hypertension, poorly-controlled diabetes, or sickle cell disease, or women diagnosed with increased risk of premature labor. Support stockings during flight and intermittent walking to move the legs around are recommended to minimize the chance of blood clots in the legs during prolonged flights. Travel plans should be discussed with the monitoring health care professional in high-risk pregnancies.

Can I have intercourse during pregnancy?

Intercourse during pregnancy is safe for most women. Special situations in which women might be advised to avoid intercourse include prior preterm labor, multiple miscarriages, infection, bleeding, amniotic fluid leak, and a condition called placenta previa or low placenta. (A placenta previa is when the placenta is implanted near the outlet of the uterus, so that at the time of delivery the placenta precedes the baby. Placenta previa can cause painless bleeding in the last trimester of pregnancy, and may be a reason for a C-section.)

All women are advised to avoid sexual intercourse that could put them at risk to exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.

How soon after stopping birth control can I become pregnant?

There is no evidence that there is increased risk of spontaneous abortion increases if a woman becomes pregnant in the first cycles after stopping oral contraceptive pills. Intrauterine devices (IUD's) are not harmful to the fetus. Women who get pregnant with an IUD that is still in place do not have higher change of congenital abnormalities in the fetus compared to other women. If the IUD of a woman in her 1st trimester is carefully removed by a doctor, or if it is expelled on its own in the 1st trimester, the chance of spontaneous miscarriage is not increased compared to other women.

When barrier methods such as condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and sponges are used, pregnancy can occur by simply discontinuing their use during a regular cycle. The same can be said for spermicidal gels and suppositories.

Medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera) is an injectable hormone used for contraception. The contraceptive effect of Depo-Provera may last as long as 18 months after the last injection. Normal menstrual cycles and pregnancy cannot occur until after the contraceptive effect wears off.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/9/2014

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