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DOCTOR

In nothing do men more nearly approach the gods than in giving health to men.

― Cicero (106 BCE – 43 BCE)

My take on ‘Being a doctor: How is it really like?’ was published by The Times of India on Doctors’ Day, 01 July 2016.

After forty-two years as a specialist doctor, what is my life like? Better in some ways, and inferior in other ways to what it was when I was a young doctor.

As a young doctor I had little responsibility. I had Seniors to advise me, to correct my errors, to take responsibility for bad outcomes, and to face the patients and relatives with catastrophic news. “The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him,” the Seniors repeatedly told me. For thirty-two years now, I am that ‘Senior.’

I don’t have eighty or hundred-hours-a-week work. I am on call 24×7. Sacrificing family life and personal interests comes with the job. I sometimes miss weddings and social events. My day is unpredictable, I never know when I will be finished working. I have piles of paperwork, the consumer court peering over my shoulder. After ten years of training to become an expert, and thirty-two years as an expert, I still have to work hard – peruse journals, participate in world and international conferences, seminars, and workshops – to keep up with the rapidly-evolving medical technology and knowledge.

FIGO World Congress, Oct 14 – 19, 2018, at  Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

But medicine has rewards which far outweigh the negatives. I work on the most complex machine the world has known: the human body. I am challenged every day. Every patient is special: I regularly encounter unique situations. Interacting with the family of a healing patient, and when I save a life, is the moment that seals a bond between me and the patient and his family. That is the moment I realize I can positively impact a patient’s life; that I make a difference. That moment is my reward.

Robotic surgery, North shore University, New York, USA 

Medicine is the most challenging and intellectually satisfying calling. But it is demanding. It is not for the faint hearted or the weak kneed or the weak minded. It is only for persons who have a passion for medicine.

I began with a quote. And I end with a quote:

Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing.

Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire

Prof Dr. Kenneth Hatch, University of Arizona, Tuscan, USA, is the pioneer of laparoscopic gynec surgery

INFERTILITY IN WOMEN

INFERTILITY IN WOMEN

SYNOPSIS 

In India, infertility affects one in six couples in urban areas; and about 27.5 million couples actively trying to conceive. Women contribute to about 50% of all infertility cases. In women, common causes of infertility  are ovulation-problems, damage to Fallopian tubes or uterus, or cervix-problems. Diagnosis is mainly by urine and blood tests, ultrasound, laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. Treatment is hormones, medication and minor surgery. Safe sex, hygiene and healthy life style and diet may reduce the probability of infertility. With assisted reproductive technology (ART), most of the women can achieve pregnancy. Infertility and its treatment have psycho-social impact which may need counselling and psychotherapy.

 

INFERTILITY IN WOMEN

Infertility is a loss. It’s the loss of a dream. It’s the loss of an assumed future. And, like every loss, it will be grieved.

INTRODUCTION

In India, infertility affects one in six couples in urban areas; and 10-14% of the population overall; about 27.5 million couples actively trying to conceive suffer from infertility.

If a couple is unable to conceive despite trying for one year, they are diagnosed as infertile. Cause of infertility can be either in male or in female partner. When it is in female partner, it is called female infertility. Female infertility factors contribute to about 50% of all infertility cases; and female infertility alone cause about one-third of all infertility cases.

In a few cases the infertility remains unexplained, or idiopathic, that is, its cause remains unknown.

CAUSES

In males, more than 90% of infertility is due to low sperm counts, poor sperm quality, or both. The remaining cases can be for several reasons: anatomical problems, hormonal imbalance, and genetic defects.

In women, common causes of infertility  are ovulation-problems, damage to Fallopian tubes or uterus, or cervix-problems. Also, as a woman ages, her fertility tends to decrease, and this can cause infertility.

Ovulation problems may be caused by one or more of the following:

Damage to the Fallopian tubes or uterus can be caused by one or more of the following:

DIAGNOSIS

One or more of the following tests/exams are used to evaluate fertility:

  • Urine and blood test to check for infections or a hormone problem, including thyroid function
  • Pelvic exam and breast exam
  • Test of cervical mucus and tissue to determine if ovulation is occurring
  • Laparoscopic examination to view the condition of organs and to look for blockage, adhesion or scar tissue.
  • HSG, which is an x-ray used in conjunction with a dye inserted into the fallopian tubes to check for blockage of the Fallopian tubes.
  • Hysteroscopy that uses a tiny telescope with a fibre light to look for uterine abnormalities.
  • Ultrasound to look at the uterus and ovaries. May be done vaginally or abdominally.
  • Sonohystogram combines an ultrasound and saline injected into the uterus to look for abnormalities or problems.
  • Tracking your ovulation through fertility awareness will also help your infertility specialist to assess your fertility status.

A scene of longing that gets at what infertility is like

TREATMENT

Female infertility is most often treated by one or more of the following methods:

  • Taking hormones to address a hormone imbalance, endometriosis, or a short menstrual cycle
  • Taking medications to stimulate ovulation
  • Using supplements to enhance fertility
  • Taking antibiotics to remove an infection
  • Having minor surgery to remove blockage or scar tissues from the fallopian tubes, uterus, or pelvic area.

PREVENTION

Usually nothing can be done to prevent female infertility caused by genetic problems or illness.

But several things can be done to reduce the possibility of infertility:

  • Take steps to prevent sexually transmitted diseases
  • Avoid illicit drugs
  • Avoid heavy or frequent alcohol use
  • Adopt good personal hygiene and health practices
  • Have annual check-ups with your GYN once you are sexually active

You must contact your doctor in case of any of the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Unusual discharge
  • Pain or discomfort during intercourse
  • Soreness or itching in the vaginal area

Some couples want to explore more traditional or over the counter efforts before exploring infertility procedures. However, do consult your fertility specialist about these.

ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY (ART)

In recent years, several medical procedures have become available to treat infertility. Collectively, these procedures are called assisted reproductive technology (ART). A few of these procedures are, in vitro fertilization (IVF),  intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), cryopreservation of gametes or embryos, and/or may involve the use of fertility medication. ART includes “all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled. In general, ART procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the woman’s body or donating them to another woman.”

With ART and other fertility treatments, it is now highly probable for almost all couples to have a baby.

 

PSYCHO-SOCIAL IMPACT OF INFERTILITY 

Psycho-social impact of infertility is often overlooked because the focus is on physical causes of infertility. But this impact is important. And although it affects both the male and the female partner, the impact on women is greater.

Emotional Impact

Women are astonished, sad and angry when they first find out about their infertility.  As the treatments progresses, they are:

  • stressed
  • depressed
  • confused
  • worried
  • angry
  • upset
  • sad
  • pressured
  • grieved
  • suffer loss of:
    • self-esteem
    • self-confidence
    • sense of control over one’s destiny

Side effects of medication, money worries, and uncertain outcomes heighten the infertility-related stress.

Treatment failure, differences between partners on when to stop seeking treatment, decisions on adoption or living childless, cause further stress.

Coping with Stress

Counselling, Psychotherapy, Medications and Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, guided imagery, and yoga help cope with the psycho-social impact.

Other ways to cope with stress is to accept your feelings and to know that it happens to most women undergoing infertility treatment; to allow yourself to be angry, to cry to grieve; to stay connected to, and to communicate with, family and friends and your partner; to share with them your questions and fears.

Long invigorating walk, new hobby, listening to soothing music may also help. Also, cut down on intake of sugar, salt, saturated fats, and white flour; reduce or eliminate from diet chemical additives, alcohol, and caffeine, including colas, coffee, black tea, and hot cocoa.

If you feel stressed, angry and frustrated during infertility treatment, remember you are not alone. Everyone undergoing such treatment feels that way. The difference is only in the degree to which one is affected.

CONCLUSION

With ART and other fertility treatments, it is now highly probable for almost all couples to have a baby.

Still, fertility is God’s gift to women. And to men. But the gift is not equitable. A few have more of it, a few have less of it, and a few have none of it.

Fertility treatment is often a long and arduous journey. It generates psycho-social pressures. But don’t lose hope. Don’t give up. Even miracles take a little time.

Art work made from think glass medication vials, Q-caps (used to administer fertility meds), and gauze, along with ceramic pieces and glue. Titled ‘Letting Go,’ made by Denise after infertility treatment failed and she decided to live childless.

ABNORMAL VAGINAL DISCHARGE (LEUCORRHOEA)

SYMPTOMS

Women often feel embarrassed to speak about vaginal discharge, leucorrhoea, though it usually is a harmless, natural, occurrence. Except when the discharge, which normally is clear and white and odorless, becomes yellow, green or grey, or white and curdy like cottage cheese, or frothy, or foul-smelling usually a fish-odor.

The other symptoms of Leucorrhoea are:

  • Rashes or sore spots on the genitals
  • Intense itching of the vagina
  • Pain during sex
  • Burning urination and frequent urge to urinate even with very little urine
  • Constipation and other Digestive disturbances
  • Backache, pain in the leg, pain in lower abdomen
  • Irritability and lack of concentration in work
  • Fatigue because of loss of fluids as discharge
  • Headaches

CAUSES

Leucorrhoea may be caused by:

  • Antibiotic or steroid use
  • Bacterial vaginosis (a bacterial infection)
  • STD
  • Pelvic infection
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Injuries to the cervix or any of the tissues in the reproductive system during pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Birth control pills
  • Douches, scented soaps or lotions, bubble bath
  • In young girls, hormonal imbalance caused by severe mental stress and trauma
  • Overindulgence in sexual activity
  • Improper diet and lifestyle during menstrual cycle
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Improper vaginal hygiene
  • Alcohol and smoking
  • Cervical or endometrial cancer

DIAGNOSIS

The doctor will take your health history, note the symptoms, and may test the discharge and may also do a Pap test to find the cause of the problem.

 

TREATMENT

Treatment will depend on the cause of the problem.

 

PREVENTION

To prevent Leucorrhoea:

  • Keep the vagina clean by washing regularly with a gentle, mild soap and warm water
  • Never use scented soaps and feminine products or douche. Also avoid feminine sprays and bubble baths
  • After going to the bathroom, always wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from getting into the vagina and causing an infection
  • Wear 100% cotton underpants
  • Avoid too tight clothing

Whenever you feel that the vaginal discharge is abnormal, consult your gynecologist.

 

 

POST MENOPAUSAL BLEEDING

See your doctor if you have vaginal bleeding after menopause. See the doctor even if the bleeding is small, even if it is only once, even if you don’t have any other symptoms. Because such bleeding can be caused by cancer.

CAUSES

The main causes of Postmenopausal Bleeding are:

• Polyps: These are tissue growths inside the uterus or the cervical canal, or on the cervix. They can cause spotting, heavy bleeding, or bleeding after sex. They’re usually not cancer.
• Endometrial atrophy: Endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. Low hormone levels after menopause can cause it to get too thin. This may trigger bleeding.
• Endometrial hyperplasia : Too much estrogen and too little progesterone, likely after menopause, can result in thicker endometrium that can bleed. It can also lead to cancer.
• Vaginal atrophy: Low estrogen levels after menopause can cause the vaginal walls to become thin, dry, and inflamed. That often leads to bleeding after sex.
• Cancer: Bleeding is the most common symptom of endometrial or uterine cancer after menopause. It can also signal vaginal or cervical cancer.
• Sexually transmitted diseases: STD like chlamydia and gonorrhea, may cause spotting and bleeding after sex. Herpes sores can also bleed.
• Medications: Bleeding is often a side effect of certain drugs, like hormone therapy, tamoxifen, and blood thinners.
• Other causes: Other possible, though less likely, causes of bleeding can be: clotting problems, infection of the uterine lining (endometritis), bleeding from the urinary tract and thyroid disorders.

DIAGNOSIS

Doctor will take your health-history, do a physical examination, and may do one or more of these diagnostic tests:

• Transvaginal ultrasound: To check for growths and see the thickness of the endometrium.
• Endometrial biopsy: To take a small sample of the tissue lining the uterus. The sample will be examined in a lab for infections or cancerous cells or any other abnormality.
• Hysteroscopy: To look inside the uterus.
• D&C (dilation and curettage): To take a sample of the uterus lining. The sample is checked in a lab for polyps, cancer, or thickening of the uterine lining.

TREATMENT

Treatment depends on the cause of bleeding.

• Estrogen therapy is used to treat vaginal and endometrial atrophy. It may be taken as:
o Pills taken by mouth.
o Vaginal cream put inside the body using an applicator.
o Vaginal ring put it in place by you or the doctor. It releases a steady dose of estrogen for about three months.
o Vaginal tablet inserted daily, or a few times a week, using an applicator.

• Progestin therapy: Progesterone is lab-made. It is used to treat endometrial hyperplasia. It can be a pill, or a shot, or a vaginal cream, or an intrauterine device.
• Hysteroscopy is used to remove polyps, and thickened parts of the uterine lining.
• D&C (dilation and curettage) is used to remove polyps or thickened areas of the uterine lining.
• Hysterectomy is a surgery to remove part or all of uterus. It is a treatment for endometrial or cervical cancer. It may also be needed in cases of precancerous form of endometrial hyperplasia. In some cases, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or nearby lymph nodes may also need to be taken out.
• Radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy if needed for cancer treatment after surgery.
• Medications to treat cervical or uterine infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

Do not ignore postmenopausal vaginal bleeding. It may be cancer. And early detection is the cure for cancer. See your doctor.

INDIA’S BEST GYNECOLOGIST

DR (PROF) SADHANA KALA, MS, FICOG

‘INDIA’S TOP 8 GYNECOLOGIST’
“at the top of the list is Dr Prof Sadhana Kala”
She is the only one from Delhi in the List

“View the list of best gynecologists in India, with their Review Rating, experience and Services offered. Dr (Prof) Sadhna Kala (Delhi) and Dr. Shobha Venkat (Bangalore) top the list because of their experience, review ratings and service quality.”

 

1. Best Gynecologists in India with Highest Review Ratings (published: 15 November 2017)https://www.elawoman.com/…/best-gynecologists-in-india-with…

 

2. Top 10 Best Gynecologists in India (published: Oct 25, 2017) http://essencz.com/piyalis…/top-10-best-gynecologists-india/

(At the World Congress of Gynecologist, Rio De Janerio, October 2018)

3. Top 10 Best Gynecologists in Delhi
http://essencz.com/piyalis…/top-10-best-gynecolaogist-delhi/

(At the World Congress of Gynecologist, Rio De Janerio, October 2018)

4. Best Gynecologists in Delhi NCR with Highest Ratings and Reviews
https://www.elawoman.com/…/best-gynecologist-in-delhi-ncr-w…

(Robotic Surgery Workshop, New York, 2016)

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CANCER SELF SCREENIG VIDEO

302 K Views, 11 K Likes, 278 comments, 1,231 shares

Posted on 12 October

Pl do view and comment. Pl do share and spread the breast cancer AWARENESS because:

• breast cancer is the biggest killer-cancer of women in the world. And in India

• it cannot be prevented. Early detection is the only cure. Late detection is fatal.

 

BREAST CANCER

Every woman is at risk of Breast cancer
“The only person who can save you is you” – Sheryl Crow

SYNOPSIS

Breast cancer (BC) is the biggest killer-cancer of women in the world, and in India. In the next fifteen years, BC will kill over twelve lakh women in India. But it doesn’t have to. A few life style changes can reduce the incidence of BC; and early detection can increase the survival rate.

BC was a disease of old age. No longer. Twenty-five years ago, 69% of BC patients in India were age 50 and above. But now only 52% are 50 and above; 48% are less than 50; and a few are in the teens.

Every woman is at risk of BC. It cannot be prevented. The risk increases with age, heredity and genetic predisposition; and the risk reduces with healthy weight, regular exercise and healthy diet.

Early detection is the key to survival. Early detection can be by self-examination of breasts, or by screening by imaging devices such as X-ray, Ultra sound, and MRI. However, confirmation is only possible by biopsy.

Depending on the stage at which the cancer is detected, the treatment can be surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and other adjuvant therapies.

If detected early, BC is treatable. If detected late, it is fatal. Five-year survival rate for Stage 1 BC is 100%; for stage 4 is 22%.

So exercise and eat healthy and you would have done your bit to reduce your cancer risk. And do regular cancer screening and you would increase the probability of early detection and of successful treatment.

INTRODUCTION

Breast cancer (BC) will kill about 80,000 women in India in 2020. For every two women with BC, one will die. Many of these deaths are preventable simply by early detection. But detection is often late and thus fatal. Lack of awareness is the major reason for late detection.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in India, 27% of all cancers, closely followed by cervical cancer at 22%. Incidence of and death due to BC is more than that due to cervical cancer. BC is rising at a rapid rate. By 2030, the number of BC cases will rise to about 200,000 a year and deaths to about 100,000 a year. India has the worst survival rate from BC, and the highest number of women dying from BC, in the world. Even if we start a cancer awareness program today, 20-30 years will pass before its effect becomes discernible.

BC was a disease of old age. Twenty-five years ago, 69% of BC patients were above the age of 50. Now 48% are below the age 50; and 20% of them below the age of 40.

Breast cancer cannot be prevented. But BC incidence can be reduced by a few simple lifestyle changes; and the survival rate can be improved by early detection.

WHAT IS CANCER ?

Our body is composed of many different types of cells. These cells grow and divide in a controlled manner to produce more cells as required by the body. Also, the older cells and the damaged cells die.

However, sometimes, the genetic material of one cell gets damaged or changed [mutation] and the cell becomes immortal: that is, it will not die. When this ancestor cell divides, its descendant cells are also immortal. This gives rise to a limitless number of immortal descendant cells. The number of cells is far in excess of what the body needs. The extra cells then form a mass that is called a tumour.

These immortal cells are called cancer cells. The cancer cells are: immortal; capable of limitless division, and thus of limitless growth in the number of cells; and capable of spreading [Metises] to other parts of the body through blood and lymph system.

There are more than 100 types of cancers. Not all cancers form tumours: cancers of the blood and the bone-marrow [leukaemia], for example, do not form tumours.

Most cancers are named for the body part in which they begin: colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and so on.

WHAT IS BREAST CANCER ?

Breast consists of lobules (milk producing glands), ducts (tiny tubes that carry the milk from lobules to the nipple) and blood and lymphatic vessels.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumour that starts in the cells of the breast. It begins in the ducts; sometimes in the lobules; and rarely, in other cells of the breast.

It then spreads through the breast lymph vessels to lymph nodes under the arms and thence to other parts of the body.

WHO IS AT RISK OF BREAST CANCER ?

Every woman is at risk of breast cancer. In India, one in 28 women will get breast cancer. Certain factors increase the risk of BC.

  •  AGE. Cancer is a disease of old age: most cancers begin to strike at age 60 and above. But now cancer is also striking, though only rarely as yet, the teenagers. Risk of breast cancer, for example, is about 0.25% for a 30-year old woman but increases to about 11% in a seventy-year old. In different countries, breast cancer risk in a 70-year old is 54% to 154% higher than in a 30-year old. Thus, as longevity has increased, so has the cancer incidence.
  • HEREDITARY. If first degree relatives [mother/father/brother/sister] had cancer, the risk of cancer is increased.
  • GENETICS. A person can be genetically predisposed to get cancer. A woman who has a family history of breast cancer is statistically more likely to get breast cancer. However, only a small percentage, less than 0.3% of population, is genetically disposed to get cancer. And less than 3-10% of all cancers are because of genetic predisposition. In women with BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, the probability of getting breast and ovarian cancer is more than 75%. Mutations in a few other genes [PTEN, CDH 1, TP 53 etc.] also increase the risk though not as much.
  • OBESITY. In obese postmenopausal women breast cancer risk is twice as much as in the non-obese women.
  •  DIET. Diet contributes to up-to 80% of cancers of colon, prostate and breast; and also contributes to cancers of pancreas, lung, stomach and esophagus. Alcohol, red meat, sugar increase the risk of cancer.
  • SMOKING, night work, no children or child born after age 30, recent use of oral contraceptives (reverts to normal on stopping), HRT, and Chemicals in environment – increase the cancer risk.
  •  MENOPAUSE. Late menopause increases the risk.

REDUCING THE RISK

Healthy weight, physical activity – brisk walking, cycling, swimming – 45-60 minutes five or more days a week, Breast feeding, no red meat, less sugar and less alcohol lowers the risk.

Controversy about whether diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes and low in total fat (butter, oil), more vitamins, Marine Omega 3 fatty acids (found in seafood (e.g. fish oils) and in walnut, seeds, flaxseed oil etc.), and antiperspirants and bras reduce the risk. Abortion and Breast Implants have no effect.

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators such as tamofoxien reduce BC risk but increase the risk of thromboembolism and endometrial cancer.
So eat well and exercise and you would have done your bit to reduce your cancer risk.

EARLY DETECTION

Since cancer-prevention is not possible, the saying, “prevention is the cure” is amended to “early detection is the cure.”

Only about 10% of cancer deaths are because of primary tumour. Most of the deaths are because of metastasis – spreading of the cancer to other parts of the body. Once metastasis happens, it is very difficult to treat. Early detection of cancer is therefore of utmost importance.

Several ways of early detection:

1. SELF-EXAMINATION OF BREASTS
More than 80% cancers are detected by women doing self-examination of breasts. The examination should be done every month, 5-7 days after menorrhoea. Do the examination as shown in the three pictures. Look for the following:

  • Lumps in breast (less than 20% are cancer) or in lymph nodes in armpits.
  • Thickening of breasts
  • One breast becoming larger than other
  • A nipple changing position or shape or becoming inverted
  • Discharge from nipple
  • Constant pain in part of breast or armpit
  • Swelling beneath the armpit or around the collarbone

In case of palpated anomaly, consult your gynecologist.

The limitations of self-examination are:

• Only 20% women do self-examination of breasts.
• The tumour/changes are large by the time they are felt and this delay in detection can adversely affect the treatment outcome.

2. IMAGING TECHNIQUES
Early detection of cancer is required and is possible by using Imaging Techniques. Six Imaging Techniques are available:

• X-ray (Mammography)
• Ultra sound (Sonography)
• MRI
• Computer Assisted Detection (CAD)
• CT-scan
• PET

A visual inspection by endoscopy can also be done.

• MAMMOGRAPHY.
X-rays examination. Small neoplasmatic tissue formations can be seen.
• SONOGRAPHY
Sonography is done in addition to Mammography to rule out possible cysts and to estimate the size of the tumour. However, tumours smaller than 5 mm cannot be detected.
• MRI
MRI is used to find out if the breast has been affected by more than one tumour.
• COMPUTER ASSISTED DETECTION (CAD)
CAD is used to point out possibly diseased regions. It is used mainly as a second opinion to the report of the doctor.

LIMITATIONS OF IMAGING

• Imaging techniques magnify the tumour much as the magnifying glass magnifies the letters in a book. Normal letter size, called font, is 12. If the font size is halved, that is made 6, you may still be able to identify the letter. But if the font is reduced still further, say to 3 or 4, you will not be able to identify the letter even with the magnifying glass. In a similar way, the imaging techniques cannot identify tumours that are small.
• The QUALITY of cancer is more important than the QUANTITY. A small tumour can be more dangerous than a large tumour. Imaging can tell the quantity of the tumour, that is, its size, but cannot tell the quality of the tumour.

• Most of the time, Imaging cannot even tell whether a tumour is cancerous or not.

CONFIRMING CANCER

The only absolute way to confirm cancer is by biopsy: a small tissue from the tumour is taken and microscopically examined to check for cancer.

TYPES OF BIOPSY

• Punching Biopsy. Done in a locally-sedated state.
• Needle Biopsy. Done with a syringe and a special needle. As painful as venepuncture.
• Advanced Breast Biopsy Instrumentation (ABBI). Done with X-ray to ensure localisation of target. Only a few doctors are experienced in this technique.

Microscopic examination of biopsy is sufficient; but in a few rare cases specialized lab tests are required.

CANCER TREATMENT

Even small localised tumours have the potential of metastasis and therefore need to be treated. The treatment is surgery, medications (hormonal therapy and chemotherapy), radiation and immunotherapy.

Surgery offers the single largest benefit. Used along with chemotherapy and radiation, the local relapse rate is reduced and the overall survival rate may increase.

SURGERY

  • Mastectomy: remove whole breast.
  • Quadrantectomy: remove quarter breast.
  • Lumpectomy: remove small part of breast.
  • Breast Reconstruction Surgery or breast prostheses: to simulate breast.

Neo-adjuvant, that is prior to surgery, and Adjuvant that is after and in addition to surgery, medication is used as part of treatment. For example, Neo-adjuvant use of aspirin may reduce the mortality from Breast Cancer.

Adjuvant Therapies are:

Radiation (negative effect on normal cells) to kill cancer cells in tumour bed and regional lymph nodes that may have escaped surgery. It reduces the risk by 50 – 66 % (i.e., 1/2 to 2/3 reduction of risk). It is confined to region being treated. But only solid tumour can be treated.

Therapies using drugs/agents etc.

  • Chemotherapy (negative effect on normal cells). Uses drugs, usually two or more drugs in combination, to destroy cancer cells.
  • Targeted Therapy that became available in 1990s that uses drugs that inhibit enzymes.
  • Monoclonal Antibody Therapy in which the agent is an antibody
  • Immunotherapy that uses patient’s immune systems to fight cancer using drugs.
  • Hormone Blocking Therapy. Uses Estrogen Receptors (ER +) Tamoxifen and Progesterone Receptors (PR +) Anastrozole that block the receptors.

Experimental Cancer Treatment
1. Gene Therapy
2. Ultrasound Energy.

Alternative Medicine.

Patients with good prognosis are offered less invasive treatment – e.g. lumpectomy + radiation + hormone.
Patients with poor prognosis are offered more aggressive treatment – extensive mastectomy + radiation + chemotherapy + adjuvant medication.

TREATMENT SUCCESS RATE

If the cancer is detected early, that is at Stage 1, prognosis is excellent and usually chemotherapy is not required.

If detected in Stage 2 & 3 prognosis is progressively poorer with a greater risk of recurrence. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are required.

If detected in Stage 4, that is metastatic cancer (spread to distant sites), prognosis is poor. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies are used. But the 10-year survival rate is 5% without treatment and 10 % with optimal treatment.

In India, more than 60% of the BC’s are diagnosed at stage III or IV. Hence the low survival rate.

For Consultation with Best Gynecologist in Delhi  contact us : +91-9999886583, +91-9999889464

PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL ASPECTS

Cancer patients need psychological and emotional support. Besides the family, such support can be provided by support groups who are trained and experienced in providing such support. ‘Cancer Sahyog’ is one such support group in India.

CONCLUSION

Cancer is a 3200 year old disease. It is endogenous, a part of life-process. So it can neither be eradicated, nor prevented, nor cured.

As yet.

Over the past 2000 years, the survival rate for many cancers has improved dramatically: life expectancy increased by 20-30 years. But for a few other cancers – metastatic pancreas cancer, metastatic breast cancer, in-operable gallbladder cancer – improvement has been marginal: life extended by just a few months.

Late detection of cancer is fatal. The causes for late detection are many but lack of awareness is the principal cause. Other main causes are: patient being shy, social stigma and doctors’ ignorance because of which the treatment is delayed. An awareness program with Best Gynecologist in south Delhi will address all these issues.

Present state of our knowledge makes us believe that cancer prevention or cure is not possible because cancer is a product of the processes essential to the life process.

Will some radical discovery in the future make cancer prevention and cure possible? We don’t know. But we can always hope.

Because as Richard Clauser, Director, National Cancer Institute, USA, says about the future of cancer cure, “There are far more good historians than there are prophets.”

REFERENCES

1. India still has a low breast cancer survival rate of 66%: study: For every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in India https://www.livemint.com/Science/UaNco9nvoxQtxjneDS4LoO/India-still-has-a-low-breast-cancer-survival-rate-of-66-st.html
2. Epidemiology of breast cancer in Indian women: Breast cancer epidemiology: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313545712_Epidemiology_of_breast_cancer_in_Indian_women_Breast_cancer_epidemiology
3. Epidemiology of breast cancer in Indian women
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28181405
4. BREAST CANCER INDIA
Correct information is .. half the war won already
http://www.breastcancerindia.net/statistics/trends.html
5. Breast Cancer Survival Rates
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/understanding-a-breast-cancer-diagnosis/breast-cancer-survival-rates.html
6. The Top 5 Cancers Affecting Women Top 5 Cancers Affecting Women
https://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health/cancers-affecting-women-today.aspx https://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health/cancers-affecting-women-today.aspx https://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health/cancers-affecting-women-today.aspx
7. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer – a book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, a physician and oncologist. Available at Amazon and at Flipcart

RAFALE & STEALTH

 

Lalu in jail, Sonia Rahul on bail, numerous other politico small and big declared scoundrels and worse by the courts. Politico’s stock is so low that we will believe anything – bad – about them.

And so to Rafale and Ambani and Modi. We don’t know if anything underhand took place. But Rafael is a ₹ 59,000 crore deal, Ambani is an industrialist with only a little experience in defence production, and Modi is a politico. So we are prepared to believe that some hanky-panky took place, even though no evidence as yet that it did.

Having suffered in 2014 the consequences of people’s perception of corruption in politics, Congress is quick to latch on to Rafale deal. Why only 24 aircraft, why Ambani, why the cost escalation, why, why, why – they are screaming. Forgetting that it was their fifteen years’ of inaction that has led to the alarming situation where the Indian Air Force, tasked with fighting a two-front war, is hard pressed to cope with even a one-front war! Against a requirement of 42 combat squadrons, it is down to 33 squadrons, to only 31 effevtive-squadrons. And of these 17 squadrons are of vintage Mig 21 [first flight (ff) 1956], Jaguar [ff 1968], and Mig 27 [ff 1970]. Fighters with design-age of more than fifty years! A crisis that needed urgent resolving.

A back of the envelope calculation would show that over the next twenty years, the IAF needs to induct about 500 combat aircraft, about 230 of these in the next ten years, that is, by 2027; and that the program cost would be about ₹ 06 lakh crore in the next ten years, and about ₹ 13 lakh crore in the next fifteen years. At today’s prices.

If most, or at least some of this money has to come to India, then we need to build defence-industry in the country. And for that, participation of private industry is essential. None in the private industry in the country has experience of defence production. So one and all of them will be newcomers. Lockheed Martin has forged a partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), SAAB with the Adani group, and Dassault with Reliance. All the Indian partners are new to defence production.

The advantage and ills of a defence-industry complex are too well known to recount here. The economist and social scientists can argue and pronounce on its benefits or otherwise to the country. But finally the buck stops at the politico. It is their call. Should, or shouldn’t the country have a defence–industry? And if yes, then how do we create it if we ban entry in to it of Indian companies without experience of defence production?

But let’s return to Rafale and why only 24 of them. Simple answer is that we needed an immediate answer to an emergency situation to give ourselves time to ponder. Do we want all 500 aircraft to be Rafale? Do we want a mix of single-engine fighters like F-16 and Gripen, and twin-engine fighters like F/A-18 and the Rafale? And what about beyond the 500 fighters? Do we need the fifth generation fighters, the stealth fighters, like F 22 raptor and F 35 Lightning II of the US, Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31 of China, Sukhoi Su-57 of Russia, and Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin research aircraft of Japan. Surely the IAF which looks 30-40 years ahead is thinking about the fifth generation stealth fighters and where and when they fit in to IAF’s inventory.

Argue not about Rafale. Argue about military-industry complex. Argue about stealth.

 

CESAREAN VS VAGINAL DELIVERY

The birth of a child is supernatural spiritual event. – Lailah Gifty Akita,
A miracle is really the only way to describe motherhood and giving birth. – Jennie Flnch

SYNOPSIS

A baby may be delivered by a vaginal or a cesarean delivery. But in a given situation, one procedure may be safer for the mother and the baby than the other procedure.

Advantages of the vaginal delivery are that the mother feels it is natural, the recovery period is shorter and she can breastfeed earlier. Disadvantages are that it is a gruelling event and has a higher risk of urinary incontinence; and that the baby may be injured during delivery.

A cesarean may be required in certain situations such as low-lying placenta or breech baby. Mother has longer recovery period; and risk of excessive blood loss and bowel or bladder injury. Baby may have breathing problem and childhood ashthama and obesity.

A successful. VBAC (vaginal birth after a cesarean) is possible. However, there is a small risk of rupture of the uterus. Therefore, suitable doctor and hospital are required.

INTRODUCTION

Between cesarean and vaginal delivery, choose the one which has the least chance of causing injury or morbidity to the baby and the mother. Both procedures have risks. But in a given situation, risks in one procedure are greater than in the other. Aim is to minimize the risk.

For an informed discussion with the therapist, for choosing the optimum delivery method in a given situation, and for giving an informed consent, the expecting mother and her family need to know the pros and cons of the two methods of delivery.

This paper summarizes the pros and cons of the two methods for the mother and for the baby.

INCIDENCE

According to WHO, maternal and new-born deaths decrease as the cesarean rate rises up to 10-15% of the number of deliveries. Higher cesarean rate does not further reduce maternal or neonatal mortality. We may interpret that to mean that in 10-15% cases cesarean is called for; but in 85% of the cases, that is majority of the cases, vaginal delivery is possible. In a few other studies, the death rate continues to reduce till 19% of caesarean rate.

The average caesarean rate in India is 18%. However among the 20% richest population, the rate is 30%. In the United States caesarean rate is about 32% (2017). Clearly, among the rich, more caesareans are being done than are medically needed: rich women choose caesarean rather than vaginal delivery.

VAGINAL DELIVERY

A Mother finds vaginal delivery a more natural experience, feels she is giving birth the way nature intended her to. The other advantages are:

  • A shorter hospital stay (24 – 48 hours) and recovery time compared with a cesarean.
  • Avoid major surgery and its associated risks, such as severe bleeding, scarring, infections, reactions to anesthesia and longer-lasting pain.
  • Earlier contact with the new-born, hold her baby and begin breastfeeding sooner after she delivers
The disadvantages for the mother are;
  • Labor is a physically gruelling process and is hard work.\
  • A risk that the skin and tissues around the vagina can stretch and tear while the fetus moves through the birth canal. If stretching and tearing is severe, a woman may need stitches or this could cause weakness or injury to pelvic muscles that control her urine and bowel function.
  • Higher risk of bowel or urinary incontinence; more prone to leak urine when they cough, sneeze or laugh.
  • May experience lingering pain in the perineum, the area between her vagina and anus.
  • Increased risk of:
    o anxiety and stress during pregnancy
    o sexual problems post-delivery
    o increased risk of post partum depression
For the Baby the advantages are:
  • Muscles involved in birthing may squeeze out fluid in a new-born’s lungs, making breathing problems at birth less likely.
  • Good bacteria received as the new-born travels through the birth canal may boost its immune systems and protect its intestinal tracts.
  • For the Baby the disadvantage is that in long labor, or if the new-born is large, it may get injured during the birthing, resulting in a bruised scalp or a fractured collarbone.

CESAREAN

In certain medical situations, vaginal delivery may be too risky. Therefore a cesarean may be planned. Typical risky situations are:

  • Twins or other multiples
  • A very large baby in a mother with a small pelvis
  • Baby not in a heads-down position and efforts to turn the baby into this position before birth were unsuccessful.
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure
  • An infection, such as HIV or genital herpes, that she could pass along to her baby during birth
  • Problems with the placenta during pregnancy

Sometimes an unplanned, or emergency cesarean, may become necessary because the health of the mother, the baby, or both, is in jeopardy. This may happen because of a problem during pregnancy; or after a woman has gone into labor: if labor is happening too slowly or if the baby is not getting enough oxygen (fetal distress).

Sometimes a mother may request for an elective cesarean because she wants to plan her delivery; or because she previously had a complicated vaginal delivery.

In certain situations cesarean is lifesaving. But opening up a woman’s abdomen and removing the baby from her uterus is a major surgery. The risks are:

• often leads to repeat C-sections in future pregnancies,
• longer hospital-stay, two to four days on average.
• longer recovery period, often at least two months; more pain and discomfort in the abdomen as the skin and nerves surrounding the surgical scar need time to heal.
• increased physical complaints such as pain or infection at the site of the incision and longer-lasting soreness.
• increased risk of:
o blood loss and a greater risk of infection, bowel or bladder injury or a blood clot forming during the operation.
o future pregnancy complications, such as placental abnormalities and uterine rupture, which is when the uterus tears along the scar line from a previous cesarean. The risk for placenta problems increases with every cesarean a woman undergoes.
o death during surgery: three time more likely in a cesarean than in a vaginal birth, due mostly to blood clots, infections and complications from anesthesia.
o miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnancy after cesarean.

Baby born by cesarean is at a higher risk of:

• stillbirth
• higher mortality rate than vaginal delivery baby
• more likely to be admitted to the NICU for breathing problems
• higher rate of childhood (up to the age of 12) asthama
• a greater risk of becoming obese as children and as adults (perhaps because women who are obese or have pregnancy-related diabetes are more likely to have a C-section)
• lesser immune system

VBAC

VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) is possible under certain conditions. But VBAC is not safe for every woman and can even be life threatening to her. Before attempting a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC), remember that the following are contraindications:

• obesity (body mass index 30 or higher; weight over 200 pounds)
• pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy)
• age (usually older than 35)
• previous caesarean was in the last 19 months
• fetus is very large
• the reason for the initial caesarean is recurrent (for example, very small maternal pelvic dimensions). In this case, TOLAC may be dangerous to both mother and baby.
• more than two previous caesareans
• scar is a vertical cut, that is, it goes from top to bottom (high risk it will rupture and harm the baby and the mother and will call for a cesarean)
• additional uterine scars, anomalies, or ruptures

If scar is low and a transverse cut, that is, goes from side to side, then TOLAC may be attempted.

According to ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists):

• 3-4 out of 5, ie, 60-80% women can have successful VBAC
• transverse cut, risk of rupture, is 0.2 to 1.5%, ie 1 in 500
• VBAC is safer than repeat caesarean
• more than one previous caesarean does not pose any additional risk in VBAC
• genital herpes is acceptable, unless a visible lesion
• no evidence that a large baby requires cesarean. Squatting increases outlet of the pelvis by 10%

Rupture of the uterus is the principal risk of VBAC. The risk is small: less than 1% VBAAC result in rupture. But it is dangerous if it happens. Go for VBAC only if you are prepared to take that risk.

Also be sure to choose a best pregnancy doctor in south delhi and a hospital who can handle the rupture and do a cesarean if needed.

You may wish to attempt a VBAC because if it is successful, you will avoid the disadvantages of a Cesarean.

History

The second Mauryan Samrat (emperor) of India, Bindusara, was born c. 320 BCE by caesarean. His mother accidentally consumed poison and died when she was close to delivering him. Chanakya, his father Chandragupta’s teacher and adviser, cut open the belly of the queen and took out the baby Bindusara, thus saving the baby’s life.

That Julius Caesar was born by caesarean, hence the name caesarean for the procedure, is a myth. Though caesareans were performed in Roman times and Jewish woman are said to have survived such operation. But caesareans usually led to the death of the mother and were usually performed only when woman was dead or supposed to be beyond help. In Great Britain and Ireland, the caesarean-mortality rate in 1865 was 85%.

REFERENCES

1. Vaginal Birth vs. C-Section: Pros & Cons – Live Science
https://www.livescience.com › Health
2. Normal Delivery Vs Cesarean – Risks And Benefits – MomJunction
https://www.momjunction.com › Pregnancy › Giving Birth
3. Why You Don’t Want a C-Section | Fit Pregnancy and Baby
https://www.fitpregnancy.com › … › Why You Don’t Want a C-Section
4. Vaginal Birth After A C-Section (VBAC): Benefits & Risks – WebMD
https://www.webmd.com › Pregnancy › Reference
5. VBAC: Vaginal Birth after Cesarean – American Pregnancy Association
americanpregnancy.org › Labor and Birth

DEPRESSION IN PREGNANCY

Depression, suffering and anger are all part of being human. – Janet Fitch

Depression is the inability to construct a future. – Rollo May

SYNOPSIS

Depression is a mood disorder, a biological illness, which affects 14-23% of women during pregnancy. Depression makes a woman feel sad, bleak, helpless, anxious, irritable, fatigued and lacking in energy.

Depression can be treated. Left untreated, it can lead the woman to poor nutrition, drinking and smoking causing the babies to be born premature, less active, and have developmental problems. Antenatal depression is a strong precursor to Postpartum Depression.

Depression treatment is psychotherapy, medication, and self-care. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the often used psychotherapy. A woman can do it herself after suitable instructions. Medication is antidepressants. These pose a very small risk to fetus. A few supplements are also claimed to help. But these should not be taken without doctor’s advice. Self-care involves proper diet, adequate sleep, exercise, and pregnancy-yoga.

Several women have depression during pregnancy. So you are not alone. Do not therefore hesitate to speak to your doctor at the first appearance of the symptoms of depression.

INTRODUCTION

Pregnancy is a joyous period for women. But for a few the joy is clouded by mood swings. We all have transitory mood swings. But if these last a few weeks or a few months, then these signal depression.

DEPRESSION

Depressions are biological illnesses caused by changes in brain chemistry. Such changes may be triggered by the hormonal changes during pregnancy. This is called antenatal depression. But except in name, it is similar to clinical depression.

SYMPTONS

Symptoms of depression vary from person to person. But if you have one or more (usually five) of the following symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for two weeks or more, it signals depression:

  • feelings of sadness, bleakness, hopelessness, and anxiety;
  • lack of interest or pleasure in doing anything;
  • feeling tired or having little energy;
  • difficulty concentrating;
  • difficulty remembering.
  • feeling emotionally numb.
  • extreme irritability.
  • sense of dread about everything, including the pregnancy.
  • feelings of failure, or guilt.
  • trouble getting to sleep, waking up in the night or sleeping too much;
  • overeating or decreased appetite.
  • weight loss/gain unrelated to pregnancy
  • low self-esteem, or feelings of guilt or failure
  • fidgeting a lot, or moving and speaking very slowly
  • loss of interest in sex.
  • thoughts of suicide or self-harm may occur.
  • inability to get excited about the pregnancy, and/or baby
  • feeling of disconnection with the baby, and an inability to form/feel a bond with the developing baby.

RISK

Anyone can have depression. But the following factors, or a combination of these, increases the risk of getting depression:

• Family history of depression. Risk of suicide also goes up.
• Personal history of depression or anxiety in the past – like during an earlier pregnancy or after the birth of a previous child. Also the risk of postpartum psychosis, a rare but very serious condition that involves hallucinations, increases.
• Life stress events, such as financial problems, the end of a relationship, the death of a close friend or family member, or a job loss.
• Lack of support like having relationship problems or an unsupportive partner or having your baby on your own, or if you feel isolated from friends or family
• Unplanned pregnancy finding out you’re pregnant when you didn’t plan to be.
• Domestic violence and emotional abuse that tend to get worse when you’re pregnant.
• Infertility treatments
• Complications in pregnancy

TREATMENT

Antenatal depression is treatable with psychotherapy, medication, and self-care.

Psychotherapy:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the often used psychotherapy. It helps the mother recognize her emotions and counter her negative thoughts. She is encouraged to do CBT herself after step by step instructions in CBT through books and talks, or she may be advised do it in sessions with a therapist.

Medication

She may also need antidepressants. Not enough evidence is available that these are completely safe to take in pregnancy. A few of these pose a very small risk of birth defects that include fetal heart and skull abnormalities. Doctor weighs the risks and benefits to the mother and to the baby to decide on antidepressants. If the mother was on mental health medication before pregnancy, she should not stop these without asking the doctor. Also, she should not start any medication, including herbal medication, without asking the doctor.

Supplements

Several supplements such as St. John’s wort, SAMe, Saffron extract, 5-HTP and DHEA are being marketed as being helpful in depression. These seem to help some people but sufficient evidence is not available for their efficacy. A few of these can interfere with prescription medications or cause dangerous interactions and may be unsafe. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements or herbal medication.

Acupuncture 

Acupuncture is claimed to help relieve depression. But the evidence for its effectiveness is ambiguous or outright contradictory. The World Health Organization has recognized acupuncture as effective in treating mild to moderate depression. – Dr. Andrew Weil in ‘Depression, Health, World, Organization.’

Self-care

Diet, sleep, and physical activity are just as important as medication and therapy — sometimes more so.

Diet and nutrition.

Diet is so important to mental health that a new field of medicine called nutritional psychiatry has grown around it. Many foods have been linked to mood changes, the ability to handle stress and mental clarity.

• Foods to avoid are:

o Alcohol: it depletes serotonin, which makes people prone to anxiety, depression and panic attack.
o Caffeine: It lowers serotonin and increases the risk for anxiety, depression, and poor sleep. Reduce intake of coffee, tea, and hot cocoa.

• Foods to take are those rich in:

o B12 and folate. These prevent mood disorders and dementias. Sources: beetroot, lentils, almonds, spinach, liver (folate); liver, chicken, fish (B12)
o Vitamin D. Its deficiency is associated with different mood disorders. Sources: sun exposure; breakfast cereals, breads, juices, milk; high-quality supplements.
o Selenium. It decreases depression. Sources: cod, Brazil nuts, walnuts, poultry.
o Omega-3 fatty acids. These improve cognitive and behavioral function. Low levels of omega-3 fats leads to mood swings and depression. Sources: cod, haddock, salmon, halibut, nut oils, seeds, walnuts, and algae; high-quality supplements
o Endorphins. These enhance mood and promote a sense of well-being. Source: dark chocolate

Sleep

Lack of sleep (insomnia), or disturbed/obstructive sleep (apnea) are linked to depression. People with insomnia are 10 times more likely to have clinical depression and 17 times more likely to have clinical anxiety, and people with apnea are five times more likely to have clinical depression, than people who sleep normally. To help get sleep, lower room temperature, follow a schedule, avoid naps during the day, listen to relaxing music, try a low carb/high fat diet and eat 3-4 hours before sleep time, exercise, and practice yoga and meditation.

Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals, and other natural brain chemicals, that enhance your sense of well-being. Depression causes tiredness and lack of energy. It may therefore be difficult to begin exercising. So begin with a walk for five or ten minutes and gradually increase to 30-45 minutes a day for three to five days a week. Results will appear after a few weeks because exercise is a long term treatment. Therefore pick up an exercise – walking, cycling, swimming – that you enjoy.so you will continue to do it

YOGA

Yoga focuses on the balance between your mind, body and breath. This balance is created through:

• physical exercises and postures (asanas)
• breathing exercises (pranayama)
• relaxation
• meditation

Yoga improves your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It helps you to:

• Improve your circulation, muscle tone and flexibility; to keep the body supple and relieve tension around the cervix by opening up the pelvic region. This prepares to-be-mothers for labor and delivery.
• Alleviate the effect of common symptoms such as morning sickness, painful leg cramps, swollen ankles, lower-back pain and constipation.
• Stay mentally agile through relaxation, breathing and meditation.
• Train you to breathe deeply and relax consciously, helping you to face the demands of labor and childbirth.
• Feel calm, and ease muscle tension.
• Recover faster post-delivery.

If you are already doing Yoga, you may continue to do pregnancy yoga during pregnancy. Since most miscarriages happen during the first trimester, you may, as a precaution, decide not to do Yoga during that period. Although there is no evidence that doing yoga, or any other exercise, during the first trimester will harm your pregnancy.

If you have never before done Yoga, then do not begin it in the first trimester. Begin in the second trimester, after 14 weeks of pregnancy. Join a pregnancy Yoga class. Your instructor will start you gently and slowly and modify the posture to suit the stage of your pregnancy.

Avoid these:

• Lying on your back after 16 weeks.
• Breathing exercises that involve holding your breath or taking short, forceful breaths.
• Strong stretches or difficult positions that put you under strain.
• Lying on your tummy (prone).
• Upside-down postures (inversions).
• Back bends.
• Strong twists.

A study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology in December 2015 found no evidence of fetal distress in any of the 26 postures attempted. These included downward facing dog and savasana. But avoid any poses that feel uncomfortable.

The Art of Living recommends only nine asanas (postures) for pregnancy Yoga. These include Shavasana (Corpse Pose) and Yoga Nidra (Yogic sleep).

You may restart postpartum yoga six weeks after a vaginal delivery; and a longer period after a Caesarean section as advised by your doctor. The postpartum asanas help combat back and neck aches and also help breastfeeding mothers.

ADDITIONAL

To help yourself handle depression:

• Talk about your concerns with your partner, family and friends. They may offer you a proper perspective or practical help. And simply talking about your problems makes these seem more manageable.
• Take time to relax. Give yourself some “me time.” Read, take a calming bath, lunch out with friends, watch an entertaining movie or play. In short do anything that takes your mind away from your concerns and gives you physical and mental relaxation.

DOWNSIDE

Untreated depression can lead to poor nutrition, drinking and smoking. These can cause premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental problems. Babies of ‘depressed’ mothers may be less active, have lower attention span, be more agitated, have behavioral problems and delayed cognitive and language development as compared to babies born to normal mothers.

Antenatal depression is a strong precursor to Postpartum Depression: a major depression in the weeks and months after childbirth. It affects mother’s health and quality of life and also the well-being of the baby. It can cause bonding issues with the baby and can contribute to sleeping and feeding problems for the baby.

CONCLUSION

If you have symptoms of depression, remember, you are not alone. Between 14-23% of women struggle with some symptoms of depression during pregnancy. Antenatal depression can be treated and managed. Most women recover with a few weeks, or a few months, of treatment.

So do not feel shy. Speak to your pregnancy doctor in south Delhi at the first appearance of the symptoms of depression.

REFERENCES

1. Depression During pregnancy
https://www.babycenter.com/0_depression-during-pregnancy_9179.bc#articlesection1
2. Depression In pregnancy

3. Facing Depression During Pregnancy
https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/facing-depression-during-pregnancy#1
4. Depression during pregnancy: You’re not alone
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by- Antenatal depression
5. Antenatal depression
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antenatal_depression
6. Prenatal Yoga for women to do during pregnancy | The Art of Living …https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga/yoga-for-women/yoga-and-pregnancy
7. Introduction to Pregnancy Yoga – Verywell Fit
https://www.verywellfit.com › Fitness › Yoga › Yoga and Your Health
8. Pregnancy yoga for beginners – BabyCentre UK
https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a1033238/pregnancy-yoga-for-beginners
9. The Complex Relationship Between Sleep, Depression & Anxiety …
https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/…/the-complex-relationship-between-sl…
10. Depression & Sleep – National Sleep Foundation
https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/depression-and-sleep
11. Can Acupuncture Treat Depression? – Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-acupuncture-treat-depression/
12. Natural remedies for depression: Are they effective? – Mayo Clinic
https://www.mayoclinic.org/…/depression/…/natural-remedies-for-depression/faq-200.
13. Depression and anxiety: Exercise ease symptoms – Mayo Clinic
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases…/depression/in…/depression…exercise/art-20046.
14. Exercise is an all-natural treatment to fight depression – Harvard Health
https://www.health.harvard.edu/…/exercise-is-an-all-natural-treatment-to-fight-depress..
15. 20 Simple Ways to Fall Asleep as Fast as Possible – Healthline
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-fall-asleep

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