Avoiding pregnancy problems

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Doctors recommend ways to avoid unwanted symptoms during pregnancy.

Fluctuating hormones and family history can lead to varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

"I always say you can't fight the genetics," said Dr. Kei Nakanishi with Broward Health. "It runs in the family. Some women are more susceptible to get varicose veins. Thank your family."

To minimize the problem, doctors recommend that patients don't stand or sit for long periods of time, don't cross their legs or ankles, exercise daily, and elevate their feet as much as possible.

Hormonal changes can also lead to pregnancy gingivitis, a condition that affects about 50 to 70 percent of pregnant women. Doctors recommend two dental cleanings during pregnancy and daily at-home care.

Patients may also experience pregnancy rhinitis, a constant runny nose.

"The estrogen during pregnancy can increase mucus secretion to thicken, and swelling in the nasal passage occurs, making it more difficult for women to breathe," said Nakanishi.

Doctors recommend saline nasal sprays and a humidifier instead of relying on allergy medications to ease swollen nasal passages.

Another common problem is urinary incontinence.

"Majority of the women during pregnancy, sometime or the other, will have some leakage of urine and it's quite normal and it's obviously caused from increased pressure on the bladder from the uterus," said Nakanishi.

Patients should schedule regular bathroom breaks at regular intervals, suggested Nakanishi. He also recommended daily kegel exercises to help strengthen pelvic muscles.

Patients may also experience gastrointestinal problems. Doctors suggest drinking plenty of water, walking for 30 minutes a day, and eating lots of fiber.

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