First trimester of pregnancy
During this important period, women feel differently, depending on the individual characteristics of the body. In the first trimester of pregnancy, all tissues of the fetus and its organs, limbs and nervous system are laid. The neural tube is the prototype of the central and peripheral nervous system. Its correct development, timely closure is the most important event taking place in the first trimester.
Unfortunately, it is the first trimester that is the period of the most frequent abortions due to the influence of adverse factors.
- Changes in the female body
- Early toxicosis - morning sickness
- How does a baby develop in the first trimester
- How to organize proper nutrition and avoid excess weight
- Physical activity in the first trimester
- Risk of miscarriage
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Frozen pregnancy
- Examination and ultrasound of the first trimester
- Vaginal discharge in the first trimester
- Colds and fever in the first trimester
- Intimate relationship
Changes in the female body
A common symptom for all that accompanies the first trimester of pregnancy is the absence of menstruation. Small bleeding from the vagina is still possible in some women. They are so similar to menstrual bleeding that a pregnant woman may not be aware of her condition for 3 months.
Another physiological vaginal bleeding may appear on the seventh day after conception. This is implantation bleeding that occurs due to the formation of new blood vessels in the uterus after the introduction of a fertilized egg into its endometrium.
Pregnant women are very unlikely to have both types of unusual vaginal discharge.
Often in the first trimester, a pregnancy symptom such as frequent urination appears. It is due to the fact that a rapid hormonal change occurs in the female body, which entails an increase in the level of progesterone in the blood and the consumption of large amounts of fluid. Secondly, the enlarged uterus has not yet gone beyond the pelvic floor and presses on all nearby organs, including the bladder.
The mammary glands in the first trimester undergo great changes - they swell, the shape of the breast changes, and unusual sensations appear in it: soreness, throbbing and tingling. Blood flow to the mammary glands increases, veins are clearly visible on them. The nipples become more pronounced, the areola around them darkens, becomes larger. Some women feel these changes from the very first days of pregnancy.
Fatigue is another symptom of the first trimester. It lasts from the first to 14-20 weeks of pregnancy. It is important to have timely rest, not to overexert yourself and sleep at least 10 hours at night.
An increased level of progesterone provokes the appearance of constipation and frequently occurring light-headedness. Lowering blood pressure due to stagnation of blood in the legs and increased blood supply to the uterus leads to fainting. These changes are caused by the fact that progesterone reduces the tone of the walls of blood vessels. If a woman stands or sits for a long time, she may develop weakness and even light-headedness. To prevent fainting, you need to do several exercises that stimulate blood circulation, lie down.
The smooth muscle tone of the small and large intestine is also affected by progesterone, which slows down the digestion process. To avoid constipation, you need to drink at least 6-8 glasses of liquid per day, include more fiber in the diet, and do not eat fatty foods. Plum juice is great for preventing constipation. Do not sit on the toilet for a long time trying to induce a bowel movement. Excessive straining and tension stimulates the development of hemorrhoids. To combat constipation, there are many medicines, some of which pregnant women can take on the advice of a doctor.
With a predisposition to constipation, the following method recommended by gastroenterologists is effective - after each meal, after 10 minutes, try to defecate. Here there is a mechanism for stimulating the work of the stomach and intestines by eating. The gastro-colic reflex will help you empty your bowels at the same time. Regular bowel movements can be helped by a specially formulated diet high in fruits, fiber, fluids, and low in carbohydrates, calcium and milk.
Early toxicosis - morning sickness
The feeling of nausea and the accompanying vomiting appear in the first trimester in 65-80% of pregnant women. These symptoms of early toxicosis in pregnant women begin to complicate life from 6-8 weeks of gestation and last until the end of 14 weeks. Then they disappear, become less pronounced, sometimes go into the second trimester. Nausea that starts in the morning can last for days. Sometimes you can get rid of it by drinking fruit juice or eating some crackers without getting out of bed.
The woman has a selective reaction to smells that cause nausea. It can be the smell of meat, coffee, cigarette smoke, meat broth, vegetable salad, although earlier these products were well tolerated by a woman. The reason for these negative manifestations is changes in the hormonal background, the effect of hormones on the acidity level of gastric juice and on the state of the mucous membrane of this organ. If there is no food in the stomach, the nausea can become unbearable, so you need to send food into it for digestion.
If nausea occurs with diabetes mellitus, blood sugar should be maintained at an optimal level. Exhausting vomiting is fraught with dehydration, so you should drink water and fruit juices often and little by little. It is useful to eat calcium-containing foods - cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese. With frequent vomiting (more than 3 times a day), you need to see a doctor for recommendations on the treatment and restoration of a dehydrated body.
According to medical statistics, pregnancy accompanied by nausea is more favorable than pregnancy with its absence.
It is necessary to differentiate nausea of early toxicosis from the same manifestation of intestinal flu or pathology not related to pregnancy.
How to survive the first trimester of pregnancy? Symptoms, gender of the child:
How does a baby develop in the first trimester
This period is full of various achievements in fetal development; every week of the first trimester, significant events occur that affect the further development of the child.
1 month of pregnancy. After the fusion of the mother's and father's sex cells, a zygote is formed, which combines the genes of both parents. Each part of it responds to the formation of a certain structure of the organism of the unborn child. His gender depends on the chromosome transmitted by the sperm, that is, only his father is responsible for the gender of the baby.
While the zygote moves along the fallopian tube to the uterus, it continuously divides, becomes similar to a mulberry or blackberry berry. After 3 days, there are 32 cells in it, after 7 days - 250, and its size is 0.1-0.2 mm in diameter.
The future embryo receives material for nutrition from the egg and the secretion of the fallopian tube. On the 5-6th day after fertilization, the zygote is implanted into the endometrium of the uterus, the formation of the placenta begins - the most important organ responsible for the life of the fetus with oxygen and nutrients. In the first month of pregnancy, a complex multidimensional process of laying all the systems and organs of the unborn child begins. If a pregnant woman leads a healthy lifestyle, is not a carrier of congenital chromosomal abnormalities, and receives enough vitamins from food, it is safe to assume that the beginning of development will be safe.
2 months pregnant. The second month is a period of intensive growth and development of the embryo - from 5 to 8 weeks, its size increases from 2 to 7-12 mm. This month, the neural tube of the fetus closes, the formation of the central nervous system of the unborn child begins. The hematopoietic system began to form stem cells - the basis of all blood cells. The cardiovascular system already has a heart and main vessels, the upper respiratory tract and urinary system are laid. The head of the embryo is not much smaller than the body in size, there are already upper and lower limbs, the rudiments of fingers.
The placenta is developing rapidly, preparing to become the main organ responsible for the production of necessary hormones, respiration and nutrition of the fetus.
3 months pregnant. Already at the 9th week of intrauterine development, the development of the cerebellum begins - the part of the brain responsible for coordinating movements. On the limbs of the fetus, you can distinguish between hands and feet, elbows, fingers. The bones and joints of the unborn child are so developed that he is able to make spontaneous movements with his arms and legs.
On the head of the fetus, facial features, mouth, ears are distinguishable. At the end of the first trimester, the fetus has all the main organs, some of them begin to work intensively (heart, urinary system).
How to organize proper nutrition and avoid excess weight
Each woman should organize her diet based on her own preferences, adjusted by the principles of dietetics. It is better if a doctor leading a pregnancy and a dietitian take part in organizing proper nutrition. One should take into account the tendency to allergies, already existing excess weight, daytime employment at work, possible digestive problems, the age of the pregnant woman. Excessive weight contributes to fluid retention in the body, the development of hypertension and diabetes in pregnant women, complications in childbirth.
It is important to exclude fatty foods, smoked meats, foods with preservatives and food additives from your diet. Lean meat and fish are recommended, high content of vegetables and fruits in the menu. Negative symptoms such as nausea and vomiting can affect the choice of food and products. It is advisable to follow your taste preferences within reasonable limits. During the day, you can carry water, cookies, fruit, and have small snacks between meals to prevent nausea.
Physical activity in the first trimester
Both gymnastics and exercise are shown to a pregnant woman in the first trimester in moderation. You need to get advice on organizing physical activity from an obstetrician-gynecologist. You can do yoga, shaping, aerobics for pregnant women under the guidance of an instructor. The specialist will show exercises for the desired muscle groups, balance the load in accordance with the woman's condition. Such activity will positively affect the course of labor, when physical efforts are required from the woman in labor.
Risk of miscarriage
Spontaneous abortion in 60% of cases can be caused by genetic abnormalities in the fetus. This is how nature gets rid of an unviable embryo by engaging in "genetic engineering". Most women who have had a miscarriage, after 3-6 months, safely become pregnant and give birth to healthy children.
The older the woman, the higher the risk of miscarriage. For young women under 30, it is 10%, over 45 - already 50% of all pregnancies. If a woman has suffered two miscarriages one after another, the reason for the termination of the pregnancy should be found out. Even after two miscarriages, a 70% chance of a successful subsequent pregnancy remains.
Possible causes of miscarriage:
- Rhesus conflict;
- Hormonal imbalance;
- Anomalies of the reproductive organs.
It is necessary not to panic with a miscarriage in the first trimester, and be confident in the subsequent successful pregnancy. The main symptom of a miscarriage is profuse bleeding with frequent replacement of pads.
- Colic in the lower abdomen
- Temperature increase.
When there is a threat of termination of pregnancy, there may be blood clots in the discharge, outwardly very similar to pieces of a raw liver. Bleeding is of a different nature, it is not abundant, one-time, it can be accompanied by cramping pain in the abdomen, radiating to the shoulder. Vaginal discharge during miscarriage is insignificant, may have a brownish, gray or pinkish tint, last 3-4 days.
In any case, if atypical vaginal discharge occurs, accompanied by pain of any nature, you should immediately consult a doctor for examination and ultrasound. Only a specialist will be able to distinguish the symptoms of abortion from other pathologies.
In this condition, the fertilized egg begins to develop not in the endometrium of the uterus, but in the fallopian tube. The fetus grows outside the uterus, and at the same time, the danger to the woman's life increases, since the rupture of the tube can result in severe bleeding and even death. A characteristic symptom of this pathology is a pronounced dull pain in the lower and side of the abdomen, radiating to the shoulder. At the same time, a woman first appears with a slight brown vaginal discharge, or bleeding, similar to menstruation.
When a pipe ruptures, the pain is so strong that women faint from the painful shock. Frequent cases of a critical condition with which a woman ends up in the hospital are explained by the fact that until the last moment she does not realize that she is pregnant.
Causes of an ectopic pregnancy:
- History of reproductive tract infections;
- Ectopic pregnancy already transferred earlier;
- Complications after surgery in the form of adhesions in the abdominal cavity, blocking the patency of the tubes;
- Using an ectopic coil;
- Pregnancy after IVF or ICSI, when an embryo is artificially inserted into the fallopian tube.
At the first suspicion of an ectopic pregnancy, you should consult a doctor for an ultrasound of the uterus and fallopian tubes, and if indicated, perform a puncture of the retroperitoneal space. The level of hCG (chorionic gonadotropin) in the blood of a woman with a tubal pregnancy increases, which is also an important diagnostic sign.
If the diagnosis of "ectopic pregnancy" is confirmed after the examination, the woman undergoes abdominal or laparoscopic surgery to remove the tube. Recovery after the intervention takes 6-8 days. After 2 menstrual cycles, the next pregnancy is possible. The function of the removed tube will be taken over by the remaining fallopian tube, and ovulation will occur regularly.
The reasons for the freezing of the fetus against the background of complete well-being often remain a mystery for both the woman and the doctor leading the pregnancy. This pathology can occur at any time during the first and next trimester (up to 28 weeks). The fact that the fetus does not show signs of life, a woman may not immediately determine. Some women claim that they simply “stopped feeling pregnant” - the signs of toxicosis, nausea, soreness and breast swelling have disappeared. A woman with a frozen pregnancy develops atypical vaginal discharge: bloody, bloody, the lower abdomen may hurt a little.
Causes of pregnancy fading:
- Infectious diseases of the reproductive system;
History of inflammatory gynecological diseases;
- Genetic and chromosomal pathologies of fetal development;
- Artificial termination of pregnancy by a woman earlier.
When diagnosing a frozen pregnancy, the doctor removes the dead ovum, conducts conservative treatment to prevent infection of the woman's body. The next pregnancy can be planned in 6-12 months. In most cases, it ends well.
Examination and ultrasound of the first trimester
Pregnancy management is carried out by an obstetrician-gynecologist in the antenatal clinic. In the first trimester, a woman should visit her doctor at least once a month, unless she has special health problems.
At the first appointment, the doctor will prescribe the woman to conduct tests for a comprehensive examination of her health:
- Blood test for AIDS, syphilis and hepatitis;
- Blood test for Rh factor;
- General analysis of blood and urine;
- Smear for urogenital infections;
- Blood chemistry;
- Vaginal smear for flora and cytology;
- Analysis for rubella, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus and herpes virus.
If there is a problem in the work of some organ, specialized specialists will be engaged in the treatment of a pregnant woman, taking into account her condition.
At 10-12 weeks of pregnancy, as part of the first trimester screening, an ultrasound of the fetus is performed. A short period of time allows it to be carried out by the transvaginal method, less often the study is carried out transabdominally, that is, through the abdominal wall. A timely ultrasound scan will reveal possible pathologies of the fetus, uterus and placenta.
If problems arise (pelvic pain, bleeding, suspected ectopic pregnancy), an ultrasound scan is performed unscheduled. It allows you to exclude genetic and chromosomal pathologies of the unborn child.
Vaginal discharge in the first trimester
During the entire period of pregnancy, transparent or white mucous leucorrhoea is considered normal vaginal discharge. They have a small volume, almost odorless. Atypical vaginal discharge requires urgent medical advice:
- Green in color with an admixture of mucus, with an unpleasant odor - indicate infection of the reproductive organs;
- Thick yellow leucorrhoea with an unpleasant odor - adhesion of cocci or Escherichia coli to the microflora of the vagina, purulent inflammation;
- White flakes in the form of cottage cheese are a sign of vaginal candidiasis, fungal infection due to reduced immunity;
- Bloody discharge of brown or scarlet color is a symptom of dangerous conditions and diseases (detachment of the ovum, frozen or ectopic pregnancy, cervical erosion, miscarriage that has begun).
Any atypical discharge requires medical advice, thorough examination and treatment.
Colds and fever in the first trimester
Normally, in the first trimester, a slight increase in body temperature up to +37.5 ° C. This is due to hormonal changes in the body, the acceleration of metabolism. If the temperature values are higher than these figures, a cough and a runny nose appear, possibly a pregnant woman has an acute respiratory infection or ARVI.
The danger of this condition is that pathogens can penetrate the placental barrier and harm the fetus. In addition, the use of drugs in the first trimester should be limited, since many of them have a teratogenic effect, that is, they can cause fetal deformities. Only a doctor should treat colds. Most likely, he will recommend bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids to detoxify the body, rinsing your nose with seawater, and gargling with saline or soda solution. Herbal preparations should be used with caution, as some of them increase the tone of the uterus.
Sexual relations between spouses in early pregnancy are not prohibited, provided that there are no contraindications:
- Risk of miscarriage;
- Twin pregnancy;
- Sexual infections in one of the spouses;
- Habitual miscarriage.
With hormonal changes in the first trimester, the structure of the genital organs of a pregnant woman changes somewhat - the tissues of the vagina and cervix become looser, easily damaged with the formation of abrasions of the mucous membrane. Early pregnancy toxicosis changes a woman's perception of the world around her, she becomes irritable, gets tired quickly. These factors can lead to a temporary limitation of intimate contact between spouses.
In order for the first trimester of pregnancy to become a time of well-being and well-being for a woman, you need to undergo an examination in a timely manner, engage in feasible physical education, and correctly form your diet.
The author of the article: Lapikova Valentina Vladimirovna | Gynecologist, reproductologist
Education: Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology received at the Russian State Medical University of the Federal Agency for Healthcare and Social Development (2010). In 2013 completed postgraduate studies at N.N. N.I. Pirogova.
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