The director of the Midlands Fertility Services clinic in Birmingham, Dr Gillian Lockwood has suggested that single women should ‘freeze’ their eggs before they realize that their best years for childrearing have gone. However, the critics have altogether different view. They say that women should be encouraged to have children young. Since, the technique of storing women’s eggs was used for the women undergoing cancer treatment, which was possible at the risk of their fertility. Nevertheless, presently more and more women are opting for it as most of them are working towards financial stability. Dr. Lockwood said that even though the women in their late 30s and early 40s may feel young but they must keep in mind that their reproductive potential may not stand on the same altar. In U.K, the success rate stands at around 10% and the technique has resulted in just four live births.
According to Danish researchers arduous exercises during early pregnancy can triple the risk of miscarriage. More than seven hours of exercise a week including jogging, ball games, and racket sports can increase the risk of spontaneous abortion. Though, one UK expert is not in agreement with the findings of the study carried out at the University of Southern Denmark, arguing that running is perfectly safe during pregnancy. Studies have shown that more than three quarters of miscarriages occur during the first trimester. Spontaneous abortion can occur due to various reasons; unfortunately not all can be identified. After the 8th week, the risk of miscarriage decreases sharply (when the fetal stage begins) and after the 18-week mark, the link between exercise and miscarriage disappears. Don’t fret, not all exercises are bad news for pregnant women, swimming in fact is very popular among mothers-to-be. The government’s official advice is for women to keep up their normal daily physical exercise routine for as long as they don’t strain themselves. Alison Merry, a former midwife is of the opinion that moderate exercise everyday is perfectly safe during pregnancy. She says, the benefits of exercising during pregnancy are clear – it improves the cardiovascular system, and maintains muscle tone. So, if you are woman who has always exercised, continue to do so even after becoming pregnant, but only as long as you are comfortable doing so. After all, there is no point in making oneself prone to miscarriage, because apart from causing physical trauma, miscarriage causes immense emotional pain too.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy should be completely avoided. This is because alcohol passes through the placenta and can cause very serious birth defects in the growing fetus, like stunted growth, low birth weight, and even brain damage. This disorder is known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Permanent damage to the central nervous system is one of the main effects of FAS. Due, to the damage to the growing brain cells the child may be born with a variety of cognitive and functional disabilities, including impulsive behavior, attention deficit, and poor memory. Exposure to alcohol in the pre-natal stage may even be responsible for secondary disabilities like drug addiction and trouble with the law. Until now official guidance in the UK has been that it is completely safe for pregnant women to drink up to two large glasses of wine per week (up to four units). But, this does not make you risk free, it just reduces the risk. So, the best thing to do is completely avoid alcohol for the entire pregnancy, after all, it is better to be safe than to be sorry, isn’t it? Do you know that in the US alone, fetal alcohol exposure is one of the leading causes of mental retardation? The prevalence rate of FAS is estimated to be between 0.2 and 2.0 cases per 1,000 live births. Approximately $800,000 is the lifetime medical and social costs of each child with FAS. So, if you really care for the health of your unborn child, say no to alcohol and avoid the risk of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.