Cervical Cancer and Pregnancy: Can You Get Pregnant?

Postmenopausal women tend to have the most diagnosed cervical cancer. Nonetheless, premenopausal women who want to conceive can also be diagnosed. Many women these days delay conception. Unfortunately, this can lead to cervical cancer before getting pregnant. Many treatments result in permanent infertility. However, options exist for cervical cancer and pregnancy. Some women who wish to preserve their fertility can still get pregnant.

Cervical cancer and pregnancy

The standard treatments for cervical cancer, a hysterectomy (simple or radical) and pelvic radiation, result in permanent sterility. Select patients with early-stage cancer could qualify for fertility-sparing options. These include radical fertility-sparing trachelectomy. Furthermore, the cervix is removed but the uterus is spared.

Radical trachelectomy

Approximately one-third of patients with cervical cancer may meet the criteria for this procedure. Due to the rarity of this procedure, many referring physicians do not know this procedure can be an option.

Radical trachelectomy candidates

Those who desire future fertility possibilities qualify. Otherwise, doctors prefer more conventional methods. Surgery can be more complicated when compared to a standard hysterectomy. Furthermore, a patient might have to meet with another gynecological oncologist. Not all of these specialists can perform fertility-sparing trachelectomies.

At a patient’s initial consultation, providers would obtain important information. This is to assess if it is an appropriate option. Some of these criteria include:

  • Tumor size
  • Any spread of disease on imaging
  • The type of cancer
  • Others depending on the patient

How is the procedure performed?

Several surgical options exist with a trachelectomy. These include vaginal or abdominal, and robotic or minimally invasive. In addition, most surgeons use either an incision on the belly or multiple smaller incisions. They also perform the surgery in a minimally invasive fashion. The surgery requires very careful dissection due to the steps involved. Furthermore, this keeps the uterus viable while eliminating cervical cancer. The general steps include:

  • The surgeon dissects the uterus while the blood supply remains intact.
  • They separate the cervix from the uterus.
  • A stitch known as the cerclage is placed around the uterus base to secure it for fertility.
  • The surgeon reconstructs the uterus to the top of the vagina.

Can you get pregnant after cervical cancer?

Yes. Pregnancy rates are very encouraging after a trachelectomy with close to 70 percent of women achieving pregnancy afterward. Some patients may require some reproductive assistance. For instance, they might need intrauterine insemination or in vitro. It is important to involve a reproductive specialty physician in these cases to offer guidance along the way. Also, patients will need to deliver via cesarean section because of the permanent cerclage placed at the base of the uterus to prevent premature delivery.

Dr. Jessica Stine is a gynecologic oncologist who is trained to perform trachelectomies on young women. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Stine by calling her office at 813-530-4950.

Pregnancy and Medications: Drugs Safe for Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a beautiful experience. However, you may experience a number of discomforts during your pregnancy as well. In addition, women can be more susceptible to ailments like cold, flu and other conditions. We presently live in a world where much of our discomforts can be treated easily with medications. Furthermore, certain drugs and medications can harm your developing baby. To get the rundown of drugs safe for pregnancy, read through our guide below.

Pregnancy and medications

If you’re like most, you’ve been to an average pharmacy. Aisle after aisle consists of drugs and medications. It’s unrealistic to play it safe and ditch any and all medications. Plus, you may need a type of drug during your pregnancy. So to learn the do’s and don’ts of drugs safe for pregnancy, where do you start?

We suggest breaking it down by symptom and category. This is because you can get a better idea of what’s typically safe and what’s not. Additionally, reading the backs of drug labels gives you information on whether or not pregnant women should use it.

Drugs for pregnancy category breakdown

  • Headaches
  • Respiratory Symptoms
    • Cold/allergies
    • Cough
    • Nasal Spray
    • Throat
  • Intestinal Symptoms
    • Constipation
    • Gas
    • Heartburn
    • Hemroids
    • Nausea
    • Pain
  • Back & Muscle Symptoms
    • Leg cramps
    • Tooth pain
  • Skin Irritation & Antibiotic Ointments
    • Acne
    • Antibiotics
    • Crabs/lice
    • Herpes
    • Rash
  • Sleep Problems/ Insomnia
    • Sleep aids
  • Vaginal Yeast Infection
  • Prenatal Vitamins

If you need medication relevant to any of these categories, read the complete list of Medications & Other Treatments to Relieve Discomforts During Pregnancy. We list specific ingredients and certain drugs associated with categories that are and are not safe to take.

Other drug categories safe for pregnancy

If none of these categories apply to you, speak with your ob-gyn. Also, to get a better understanding of drugs safe for pregnancy, contact a provider at Women’s Care Florida.

Preventing Childhood Obesity with Healthy Pregnancy Tips

During your pregnancy, it may be tempting to give in to your cravings and eat everything you typically try to avoid. However, the phrase, “Eating for two,” can be deceiving. Pregnant women do not eat for two adults. They eat for themselves and a developing fetus. While it’s okay to derail your regular diet and splurge every so often, your eating habits often play a major role in your unborn child’s health. It also lowers the risk of congenital disabilities and childhood obesity. Furthermore, preventing childhood obesity with healthy pregnancy tips can also improve your health in the longterm as well.

At Women’s Care Florida, we have plenty of resources to help our patients create a healthy eating plan. Our obstetricians also provide their patients with guidance around nutrition and other healthy pregnancy habits. We’re sharing a few of their healthy pregnancy tips on how women can prevent childhood obesity in their kids.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet

Your diet should include foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that lend to good health for you and your baby. If you’re unable to get all the nutrients you need from food, talk to your OB-GYN about nutritional supplements. In many cases, taking supplements such as folic acid can help lower the risk of birth defects.

Preventing childhood obesity begins with your diet. It should include the following:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Lean proteins
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Healthy fats (omega-3s, polyunsaturated/monounsaturated fats)

Consult with your OB-GYN about other foods that are safe and healthy for you to eat throughout pregnancy. A pregnancy diet high in fat and sugar increases your risk for gestational diabetes and can lead to high baby birth weight. Studies have shown that babies whose mothers had gestational diabetes are at a higher risk for childhood obesity.

Avoiding excess weight gain

Many people think being pregnant requires eating for two. As a result, some women double up on portions to support the growth of their babies. However, eating for two can lead to extra weight gain during pregnancy, and increases the risk for gestational diabetes.

Most OB-GYNs say that you’ll only need to consume an extra 200 to 500 calories per day throughout pregnancy, depending on your physical activity level. For example, an athletic woman or someone who exercises regularly may need 500 extra calories per day throughout her pregnancy. Ask your OB-GYN about the recommended amount of extra calories you should be consuming, and try to avoid excess weight gain.

Choosing to breastfeed

Studies have shown that children who are breastfed are generally in better health than formula-fed children, and at a lower risk for childhood obesity. Additionally, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends breastfeeding your child for the first six months to provide optimal nutrition and health protection.

Breastfeeding also helps reduce your child’s risk for the following:

  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Ear infections
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

During an appointment with your OB-GYN throughout pregnancy, don’t hesitate to ask about weight gain, nutrition, and the benefits of breastfeeding. Staying on top of your health during pregnancy is more important than ever, and improves your baby’s outcome for good health in years to come.

If you want to learn more about pregnancy nutrition, schedule an appointment with an OB at Women’s Care Florida today.

4 Reasons to Do Prenatal Yoga

Want to have a healthier, less stressful pregnancy? You might not have to look any further than your local yoga studio. Prenatal yoga classes help women in all stages of pregnancy participate in a healthy and safe exercise regimen. These specially designed classes teach breathing and meditation techniques, provide support for stressed moms-to-be and use asanas (yoga poses) that help expectant mothers build strength and stamina.

Pregnancy yoga teachers also avoid poses that may be risky for moms and design classes for all women, even those who have never done yoga before. If you currently practice yoga, be sure to tell your yogi that you are expecting so that he or she can help you stay safe.

New studies continue to reveal the benefits of prenatal yoga. So, with your doctor’s approval, unroll that mat, breathe deeply and get ready. After practicing yoga while you’re pregnant, you might experience:

Exercise leads to better sleep

Many pregnant women experience sleep problems that make dealing with the physical symptoms of pregnancy more difficult. However, exercising while pregnant can help you achieve better sleep. Yoga, for instance, reinforces natural circadian rhythms. Our bodies follow these rhythms to determine when we should be awake and when we should be asleep. By keeping to this rhythm, you may find you fall asleep more easily.

Yoga decreases Stress

Throughout a yoga class, you are encouraged to center your mind and focus on your breathing, clearing away stressful or anxious thoughts. Research shows that after a yoga class, pregnant women have fewer stress hormones like cortisol in their bodies. Breathing and meditation techniques can also be used outside of class to help you cope with a difficult pregnancy or work through pain during labor.

Research also reveals yoga can reduce symptoms of depression during pregnancy. Depression is associated with a higher risk of pre-term labor and low birth weight, so it is vital to reduce symptoms so both mom and baby enjoy better health.

Experience fewer pregnancy symptoms

It’s no secret that for some people, pregnancy comes with some unpleasant symptoms like shortness of breath, back pain, nausea, and headaches. Prenatal yoga classes can help you reduce these symptoms without having to rely on medicines. To help with pregnancy symptoms, you can:

  • Use breathing exercises to overcome shortness of breath
  • Practice relaxation techniques and certain poses to reduce nausea from morning sickness
  • Build core and back muscles to reduce back pain
  • Improve posture and stress levels to experience fewer headaches

Prenatal yoga eases labor and delivery

Yoga asanas build strength and flexibility throughout your body. During yoga for pregnancy, you focus on asanas that assist with labor and delivery. These asanas help the muscles in your hips, abdomen and back grow stronger and have better endurance for a more comfortable, faster labor and delivery. You can also use breathing exercises you learned to get through the pain of contractions.

Contact WCF to schedule an appointment on any questions or concerns you may have regarding exercise, health, and pregnancy.

What Determines a High-Risk Pregnancy? Causes and Symptoms

It’s a situation every woman wants to avoid. You’re excited about those little lines finally appearing on the pregnancy test. You scheduled your first appointment, but then your OB/GYN breaks the news: you have a high-risk pregnancy. However, this news does not necessarily mean that anything bad will happen. Follow our high-risk pregnancy tips to ensure you understand your condition and avoid further risk.

What determines a high-risk pregnancy?

Before you panic, know that a high-risk pregnancy does not automatically mean that anything bad is going to happen to your baby. It simply means that because of a medical condition or other situation, you have a higher chance of pregnancy complications. Many high-risk pregnancies have no complications and end in happy and healthy moms and babies.

To help ensure your health and safety, your doctor has labeled you as a high-risk pregnancy so you can receive extra attention and care. By becoming aware of those risks, you better avoid them.

What are its causes?

Your physician will explain why you are a high-risk pregnancy and answer all your high-risk pregnancy questions. Many high-risk pregnancies are completely unavoidable; it has nothing to do with something you have done. Common unavoidable causes of high-risk pregnancies include:

  • Pregnant women under 17 or over 35 are considered high-risk pregnancies
  • Being pregnant with multiple babies
  • Having a history of complicated pregnancies, such as preterm labor, C-section, pregnancy loss or having a child with a birth defect
  • A family history of genetic conditions
  • Having a heart condition
  • Certain conditions such as epilepsy, kidney disease or polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Problems with the structure of the uterus, cervix or placenta
  • Rh sensitization

Still, a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your pregnancy risks, even if the cause is unavoidable. To have a healthier pregnancy:

  • Maintain a healthy weight, which includes not being underweight
  • Eat a nutritious well-balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise as per your doctor’s recommendations
  • Get rest when you can
  • Limit your caffeine intake
  • Avoid smoking, drinking or illegal drugs
  • Follow your recommended prenatal care

Identify your risks, complete this prenatal screening form here.

What should I do if I’m at risk?

If you are labeled as a high-risk pregnancy, you and your doctor will work together to create a prenatal care plan that helps keep you and your baby safe. This plan may include the following high-risk pregnancy tips:

  • Additional prenatal appointments, tests or ultrasounds
  • An appointment with a genetic counselor
  • An appointment with a maternal-fetal medicine physician who specializes in high-risk pregnancies
  • A healthy diet plan
  • A plan for safe exercise (or no exercise)
  • Smoking cessation help
  • In extreme cases, bed rest at home or in a hospital

Your doctor may also tell you to look out for certain symptoms, such as bleeding, pain or contractions. You should always call your doctor if you experience these symptoms.

High-risk pregnancies can feel like high-stress pregnancies. Though you might feel scared or anxious, try to find ways to reduce your stress and enjoy your pregnancy. You can try out prenatal yoga, meditation or other calming techniques.

Remember that your physician’s number one goal is to protect the health of you and your baby. Always follow his or her advice and never be afraid to ask a question.

Identify your risks, complete this prenatal screening form here or speak to a provider here:

3 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

If you’re a new mom or are planning to have children, you’ve probably heard several different breastfeeding newborn tips. They probably came from your friends, family, and even medical providers. Breastfeeding strongly bonds you and your newborn together. However, some women struggle to make a connection. They might experience pain, discomfort, or problems getting their baby to latch on. If this happens to you, understand several breastfeeding tips and tricks exist to make it easier.

Breastfeeding has many benefits for both you and your baby. Rich in antibodies, breast milk strengthens your baby’s immune system. Furthermore, a strong immune system helps ward off bacteria, viruses, illnesses, and allergies. Not only is breastfeeding great for your baby’s health, but it can also help you slim down following childbirth.

Don’t give up. Women’s Care Florida has a guide to breastfeeding for new moms. In addition, here are some breastfeeding tips for new moms that can help you find relief when you’re attempting to nourish and bond with your child.

Take breastfeeding classes

Many hospitals and birthing clinics offer breastfeeding classes that teach and coach new moms on how to breastfeed successfully. Learn about different breastfeeding positions so you can identify the most comfortable position that works for you. Classes also teach you the ins and outs of different types of breast pumps. Knowing all about breastfeeding can help you feel more confident and in control during the act. Plus, you can bond with other new moms who share some of your frustrations about breastfeeding.

Consult with a lactation specialist

Lactation specialists are like breastfeeding experts who offer guidance, tips, and tricks when you’re ready to start breastfeeding. These individuals have seen nearly everything when it comes to breastfeeding and can provide advice on how to make breastfeeding work for you based on your unique challenges. Ask your OB-GYN about your options for working with a lactation specialist at WCF.

Ask for help from hospital staff

When you give birth in a traditional hospital setting, you’ll be surrounded by nurses and pediatricians who will help you care for your newborn in his or her earliest hours. If you need help with breastfeeding, ask various staff members for their help, advice, and recommendations. By the time you’re ready to go home, you’ll have information, tips, and tricks about breastfeeding that can help you establish a lasting connection with your newborn.

Contact WCF to schedule an appointment with a lactation consultant and to learn more about how we can help take care of you.