How to Sort Through All the News on Pregnancy
WebMD News Archive
Over-the-Counter Pain Medication continued...
For example, if a mother has severe asthma and can't breathe
without her medication, then the benefits of using the medicine during
pregnancy will outweigh the risks to the fetus, Moore explains.
"In cases where we have choices between medications, we try
to choose the one that is known to be the least toxic to the fetus and still
gives the mom the benefit of the drug," she says.
For over-the counter-medications: "Read the label, read the
label, read the label," Moore says.
"And talk to your doctor."
Pregnancy and sex
The idea that continuing to engage in sexual activity in the last trimester of
your pregnancy increases your risk of premature delivery appears to be
unfounded for most healthy women.
Though it's true that a small amount of substances known to
trigger labor are found in the man's semen -- and that labor-triggering
substances are released when the woman's nipples are stimulated and during
orgasm -- doctors say the risk of labor isn't high enough to warn most women
and their partners against making love in the weeks prior to their term (37
"We found no evidence that sexual activity in late
pregnancy increased a woman's risk of preterm delivery between 29 and 36 weeks'
gestation," reports Amy E. Sayle, PhD, lead author of a study published in
the February issue of the journal Obstetrics &amp; Gynecology.
Moore agrees. "For a generally healthy woman with a
generally uncomplicated pregnancy, sex is safe -- even late in pregnancy,"
she tells WebMD.
Sayle writes, though, that her study does suggest that a small
percentage of women who have risk factors for preterm delivery could further
increase their risk by engaging in sex. Risk factors for preterm
delivery include having had a previous preterm delivery or other
pregnancy-related problem, contracting certain vaginal infections, having
uterine bleeding during your pregnancy, and smoking, drinking alcohol, or using
Other obstetricians and high-risk pregnancy experts do advise
women at risk of preterm delivery to avoid intercourse. Ask your doctor about
your risk factors and whether or not you should engage in sexual activity.