#HealthBytes: From papayas causing miscarriages to eclipses, pregnancy myths busted
After your marriage, your pregnancy, or the delay of it worries your neighbors and relatives a lot.
However, it takes time in actuality to make a baby and nowadays lifestyle, socio-economic factors, age contribute to the holdup all the more, says Dr. Kedar Padte, a Goa-based gynecologist and obstetrician having 40 years of experience.
He also busts some common myths surrounding pregnancy.
Planning for a pregnancy? Read to prepare yourself
Dr. Padte: Made an 81-year-old a father
Before we start, a bit about the doctor.
Dr. Padte 'delivered' his first baby way back in 1978, and since then he has had some real successes, like making an 81-year-old man a father to giving a 51-year-old menopausal woman the joy of becoming a mother.
He also hit headlines when he removed a massive 232 fibroids from the uterus of a 32-year-old woman.
Infertility rate is 17-18% in India, 25% in Goa
Coming back to the main issue, Dr. Padte says infertility rate is a major problem nowadays with India scoring 17-18%, and Goa clocking around 25%.
Late marriages and absentia husbands are among the prominent reasons of such high rates, he notes.
Unwanted pregnancies, STDs, addiction to cigarette, alcohol and drugs, and most importantly stress, also cause damage to a person's reproductive system, he adds.
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Better give two years between two births, advises doctor
However, there is help at hand, like IVF, and IUI, among others.
While each IUI cycle costs maximum Rs. 15,000, IVF is an expensive affair because "the medicines itself are very costly," the 62-year-old doctor says, adding he recommends six cycles of IUI before opting for IVF treatment.
Also, it is better to give a two-year gap between the first and the second child.
Ripened papayas are actually beneficial for expectant mother, baby: Doctor
Now, let's talk about the several myths surrounding pregnancy.
Ever heard papayas are harmful for expectant mothers as they cause miscarriage?
Dr. Padte lists this as his favorite myth, while adding, "Ripened papaya is actually beneficial. Also eclipses aren't harmful for pregnant mothers, as is believed popularly."
There is also a notion that every woman will mandatorily have nausea or/and vomiting while being pregnant.
No, nausea isn't so common a pregnancy-symptom as is thought
"Only 30% of women get nausea. There are many who have healthy pregnancies without having any symptom," the doctor points out.
The Internet also says the earliest and most common pregnancy sign is implantation-bleeding, which is when a fertilized egg implants onto the uterine wall, and a little bit of blood seeps through.
"But only about 5-10% of women get it," says Dr. Padte.
If pregnant, one should abstain from alcohol, cigarettes, drugs
It's better to confirm your pregnancy through a medical test, and if it comes positive, a woman should start abstaining from alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs.
Alcohol is known to cause fetal alcohol syndrome in babies, which results in physical and mental damage in a child.
Meanwhile, babies whose mothers smoke develop hearing problems, cleft-lip, heart defects, and have low birth weight, among other issues.
'Read on Google, but don't doubt your doctor's knowledge'
Now, there are many who read about all these online, and then start relating it to their own lives, which may not apply to them at all, leading to confusion.
To this, Dr. Padte, who has 'given birth' to a whopping 14,900 babies, says, "Read but take an expert's opinion. You should not doubt his/her knowledge based on what you get on Google."