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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What You Should Know About Pregnancy Tests

One of the greatest things to hit the market within our lifetime was the home pregnancy test. However, they do have limitations. This article explains more:

How Pregnancy Tests Work
by Elizabeth Eden, M.D.


From the article:

The tests are easy to perform. You immerse a trip of paper into a collected urine sample, or you urinate on a strip of paper. Positive tests usually are indicated by the formation of a lone or a plus sign on the paper. Now, there are even digital tests that display the results in a window so that there is no need to interpret lines or plus signs.

Even though these tests are extremely sensitive and accurate, it is possible to receive a false-positive or false-negative result. If you are taking fertility drugs, they may affect the outcome of the test and produce a false-positive result -- that is, the test result is positive even though the woman is not pregnant. However, more common than a false-positive test result is a false-negative one -- that is, the test result is negative even though the woman is pregnant. This usually occurs when the test is done too early after the missed period.

In some cases, the level of HCG is too low to detect, or the embryo hasn't become implanted yet. In approximately ten percent of women, the embryo implants after the first day of the missed period. Low levels of HCG may also be caused by an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that develops outside the uterus). If the first test result is negative and your period doesn't start, repeat the test in five to ten days. If it is still negative, and you believe you may be pregnant, consult your doctor

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pregnant Smokers May Have Kids Who Smoke

I've always noticed that parents who smoke seem to have kids who smoke. May it's just that the kids think it's OK since they see their parents smoking, but according to the article below, it may have something to do with smoking during pregnancy. Read more:

Pregnant Smokers May 'Program' Their Kids To Become Smokers (www.sciencedaily.com)

From the article:

Children whose mothers had smoked while pregnant were almost three times as likely to start smoking regularly at or before the age of 14 and around twice as likely to start smoking after this age as those whose mothers were non-smokers.

Smoking patterns among children whose mothers stopped smoking while pregnant, but then resumed the habit, were similar to those whose mothers had never smoked.

The findings held true even after adjusting for other factors likely to influence the results.

The authors conclude that their research provides some evidence that smoking during pregnancy has a direct effect on the child's chances of becoming a smoker. And they suggest that their findings are another reason why pregnant women should be discouraged from smoking

Thursday, May 14, 2009

First Trimester Fetal Development


Pregnancy Over 40, Fetal Development

 My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
I think most of us know that the first trimester is critical for fetal development. Here is a great resource from www.mayoclinic.com about what happens during this crucial period. Read more:

Fetal development: What happens during the first trimester?

From the site:

Weeks 1 and 2: Getting ready

It might seem strange, but you're not actually pregnant the first week or two of the time allotted to your pregnancy. Yes, you read that correctly!
Conception typically occurs about two weeks after your period begins. To calculate your due date, your health care provider will count ahead 40 weeks from the start of your last period. This means your period is counted as part of your pregnancy — even though you weren't pregnant at the time.

Week 3: Fertilization


Fertilization and implantation
The sperm and egg unite in one of your fallopian tubes to form a one-celled entity called a zygote. If more than one egg is released and fertilized, you may have multiple zygotes.
The zygote has 46 chromosomes — 23 from you and 23 from your partner. These chromosomes will help determine your baby's sex, traits such as eye and hair color, and, to some extent, personality and intelligence.
Soon after fertilization, the zygote travels down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. At the same time, it will begin dividing rapidly to form a cluster of cells resembling a tiny raspberry. The inner group of cells will become the embryo. The outer group of cells will become the membranes that nourish and protect it.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Semi-Identical Twins??

I think most of us know about identical and fraternal twins. But recently it has been discovered that there may be a third type called semi-identical twins. Read more:

Semi-Identical Twins Discovered (news.bbc.co.uk)

From the article:



These twins, who were conceived normally, only came to the attention of scientists because one was born with sexually ambiguous genitalia.

The child was discovered to be a hermaphrodite, and has both ovarian and testicular tissue, while the other child is anatomically male.

But genetic tests show both are "chimeras", and have some male cells - which have an X and Y chromosome, and female cells - which have two X chromosomes.

The most likely explanation for how they were formed is that two sperm cells - one with an X chromosome and one with a Y chromosome - fused with a single egg.

The twins are now toddlers, and doctors say they are progressing well.

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