2023 Author: Josephine Shorter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 07:22
15 weeks pregnant
From the 15th week, the second trimester of the gestational period begins - the quietest period of pregnancy. The birth is still far away, the growing belly is not so large as to limit the woman's activity, the excitement of the first months is gone, toxicosis is over. Now the expectant mother waits with excitement when she will feel the first movements of the fetus, will be able to feel in reality the signs of new life inside her body.
- What happens to the fetus?
- How does the abdomen and uterus enlarge?
- Second trimester screening and ultrasound
- The term of the first movement of the baby
- Vaginal discharge at 15 weeks
- Pain - signs of pathology
- Vaginal bleeding
- Analyzes and necessary examinations
- Twin pregnancy
- What does the increased body temperature indicate?
- Viral and colds
- Alcohol and nicotine
- Balanced diet
- Sex and contraindications
- Special problems
What happens to the fetus?
The main achievement of 15 weeks is the formation of the fetal cerebral cortex, active division of nerve cells. At this time, the process of development of the cerebral hemispheres will not end, it will last the entire fourth obstetric month. The smooth surface of the bark is covered with grooves and convolutions, acquiring a typical structure. The number of neurons corresponds to the approximate norm, the formation of their processes begins. Now the central nervous system is able to perform even more functions, to more accurately coordinate the activity of the fetus.
The active development of muscles and bones enables the child to perform a variety of movements. He knows how to roll over, bend and unbend legs and arms, clench his fists, and suck fingers. Despite the fact that the epidermis consists of several layers, the skin of the fetus is not yet dense enough to hide the pattern of blood vessels. The hairline becomes thicker, you can see eyebrows and hairs on the head, as well as fluff on the body, which will disappear only a few days after giving birth. In the thickness of the smooth and transparent skin, the sebaceous and sweat glands begin their work.
Fetal parameters at 15 weeks:
- Weight - 70 g;
- CTE (coccygeal-parietal size) - 10 cm;
- Body length from heels to crown of head - 14 cm;
- Heart rate - 120-150 beats / min.
Baby's body proportions change over the course of pregnancy. Now he no longer looks like a clumsy "tadpole" - the body has become more proportional, and the legs, as expected, overtook the arms. The genitals are in the developmental stage, so it is still difficult to determine the sex of the child on ultrasound.
The activity of the internal organs of the fetus at 15 weeks:
- The kidneys produce primary urine, which ends up in the amniotic fluid;
- The intestines are developing;
- The liver produces bile, which will become the basis for the original feces - meconium;
- The endocrine glands of the male fetus begin to produce testosterone;
- The head ligaments are formed, the glottis is open;
- Tongue and mouth receptors are able to sense the taste of food;
- The heart distills more than 28 liters of blood per day.
The amniotic fluid is purified up to 10 times a day, so the child does not experience discomfort. Due to the intense work of the cardiovascular system, the skin of the fetus often has an intense pink or red color.
Video about the prevention of stretch marks and the condition of the fetus at 15 weeks:
How does the abdomen and uterus enlarge?
At 15 weeks, the fruit can be compared in size to an orange. The pregnant uterus has already gone beyond the small maze, rising higher into the abdominal cavity. The fundus of the uterus is located at the level of 7-10 cm below the navel, or in the middle of the distance between the navel and the pubis. The measurement of these parameters is carried out by the midwife at each visit to the antenatal clinic, and the result is entered into the exchange card of the pregnant woman.
When conducting an ultrasound scan at this time, it is clear that the myometrium (the muscular layer of the uterus) has a uniform structure and a thickness of 2.5 cm. The uterus has increased so much in size that it can be felt in the supine position through the peritoneal wall.
The belly at this stage of pregnancy increases at different rates. For example, in lean pregnant women with developed abdominal muscles, the belly may outwardly hardly stand out. And someone has a rounded tummy and smoothed waist lines already at 15 weeks visible with the naked eye.
A vertical dark strip in the middle of the abdomen is a manifestation of increased production of melanin, the fault of which is the increased work of the endocrine glands. This defect will disappear soon after delivery.
Second trimester screening and ultrasound
15 weeks is the period from which a pregnant woman, for special indications, receives a referral for a second screening study for fetal pathology. According to the plan, the second screening is carried out from 16 to 20 weeks.
It includes ultrasound and "triple test":
- Blood test for hCG content;
- Analysis for the content of alpha-fetoprotein;
- Analysis for the content of unbound estriol.
If for some reason a woman could not pass the tests of the first screening, then the indicators obtained as a result of the more informative triple test will be sufficient. Do not panic in advance, having received not very good results - they need additional confirmation. A titer of 1: 350 is considered the basis for an in-depth study - puncture of the amniotic fluid. A woman has the right to refuse to take amniotic fluid for analysis, although this analysis determines with one hundred percent accuracy possible genetic and chromosomal abnormalities of the fetus.
An ultrasound scan carried out on high-precision equipment with a high resolution can reveal the veil of secrecy with the sex of the unborn child, although there is also a high probability of error. But on the screen you can clearly distinguish the active movements of the fetus and even his facial features.
If a woman monitors her health, regularly visits a doctor, nothing unusual should happen at this time. Perhaps her nose periodically clogs up, the volume of nasal mucus secreted increases. These are signs of rhinitis during pregnancy - a runny nose caused by hormonal changes.
During the period of active construction of the fetal skeleton, a lack of calcium in the mother's body may appear. Nails and hair become brittle, brittle, from time to time a woman feels cramps in her limbs, tooth enamel crumbles. Such symptoms of calcium deficiency are possible with a poor, monotonous diet of the expectant mother. You should often include cottage cheese, cheese, fermented baked milk, kefir, sour cream in the diet.
The symptoms of toxicosis are almost not felt, a feeling of constant fatigue and absent-mindedness may remain. A woman at the 15th week of pregnancy notices that her nipple areola and the skin of the external genital organs have darkened, age spots have appeared on her body and face. All these manifestations will go away in the first months after childbirth.
At 15 weeks, changes in blood pressure may begin, causing nosebleeds and bleeding gums. From this time on, you need to start carefully monitoring your blood pressure indicators, regularly measure it when visiting a doctor.
The term of the first movement of the baby
During the first pregnancy at 15 weeks, fetal movements are imperceptible. Being in complete rest, they can be noticed by women of fragile physique, pregnant with their second and subsequent child. The movements are so gentle that the doctor usually refers to the woman's message about the new sensations as a sensory error caused by intestinal peristalsis. However, the female instinct is unlikely to confuse with anything these movements, similar to the "touch of the wings of a butterfly." Women who have no experience of pregnancy also feel them, but perhaps do not yet understand it.
Vaginal discharge at 15 weeks
Normal discharge at this time is transparent, rather dense, sometimes with a milky white tint. Due to the predominance of estrogen, they may become somewhat thinner than they were at the beginning of pregnancy, but the color and smell of vaginal discharge from a healthy woman remains unchanged.
The appearance of a yellow or green tint, the inclusion of curdled clots, pus or mucus, the addition of an unpleasant odor are signs of an infectious lesion of the reproductive organs. This condition is extremely dangerous for a pregnant woman and a fetus, since some pathogenic microbes can penetrate the placental barrier. A change in the nature of discharge is a reason for contacting a doctor and starting treatment.
Pain - signs of pathology
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Each painful sensation requires careful diagnosis. Sometimes the pain is caused by functional changes in the body (sprain of the growing uterus, leg cramps due to lack of calcium). However, severe pain of a spasmodic nature in the lower abdomen and in the lower back, accompanied by bleeding, can be caused by a miscarriage. Abruption of the placenta, rejection of the ovum causes bleeding and painful spasms of the uterus, radiating to the lower back.
If the fetus has no pathologies, and the miscarriage is diagnosed at the very beginning, you can try to save the pregnancy. To do this, you need to seek emergency medical help at the first symptoms.
Pain when urinating can be a sign of cystitis. Inflammation of the bladder often occurs during pregnancy due to lowered immunity, side effects of thrush, as a result of hypothermia. Cystitis needs to be treated quickly and effectively in order to prevent its complication - pyelonephritis, which will take much longer to fight.
An admixture of blood in vaginal discharge, brown smearing or bloody leucorrhoea, the appearance of bright red blood with clots - all this requires immediate consultation of an obstetrician-gynecologist.
Possible causes of bleeding:
- Spontaneous termination of pregnancy;
- Cervical erosion;
- Frozen pregnancy;
- Injury to the tissues of the vagina or external genitalia;
- Malignant damage to the reproductive organs.
Analyzes and necessary examinations
If the first screening was successful, and the doctor believes that it is too early to do the second comprehensive examination, then at 15 weeks only standard tests need to be passed - a general blood and urine test.
At this stage, multiple pregnancies almost do not deviate from the usual course. Perhaps the early toxicosis was somewhat delayed, but soon it will pass. If a woman is registered in a antenatal clinic in a timely manner, it means that a planned ultrasound scan has already been carried out, and she knows about multiple pregnancies. It is important to pay close attention to your health, eat right and spend more time outdoors in order to replenish the body's resources in a timely manner.
What does the increased body temperature indicate?
At this stage of pregnancy, we can no longer talk about the subfebrile temperature of the first weeks, caused by hormonal changes in the body.
Now hyperthermia is a dangerous symptom of an inflammatory or infectious disease:
- Sexual infection.
Since high fever is dangerous to the fetus as well as viruses, immediate treatment and a decrease in the thermometer should be started. At 15 weeks, in consultation with the doctor, you can already take antipyretic drugs with minimal side effects. One of these drugs is paracetamol, or drugs in which it is the main active ingredient.
Viral and colds
Influenza, acute respiratory infections, acute respiratory viral infections are diseases that, unfortunately, a pregnant woman can easily get sick with. The viruses that provoke the development of these pathologies can be dangerous to the fetus, infecting it even through the placental barrier. Treatment of influenza and acute respiratory infections with high fever is best done in a hospital setting. If therapy is carried out at home, then it takes place in bed rest.
Activities and procedures:
- Drink plenty of fluids;
- Taking vitamins;
- Gargling with soda solution, chamomile or sage decoctions;
- Rubbing the chest when coughing;
- Inhalation with medicinal herbs;
- Rinsing the nose with sea water;
- Using tea tree oil to lubricate a sore throat.
Alcohol and nicotine
The toxins that enter the mother's body after a smoked cigarette or drunk glass almost immediately enter the fetus through the circulatory system. At this stage of pregnancy, the cerebral cortex is actively developing, therefore, the effect of alcohol and nicotine can negatively affect the development of the child's intellect and his higher mental functions.
If a pregnant woman has an overwhelming urge to drink beer or wine, it may be the result of a lack of protein. The deficiency can be compensated for by eating nuts or preparing a dish of lean meat.
To replenish the stocks of protein needed by the fruit, you should eat at least 200 g of meat daily. This volume is replaced with fish twice a week. In addition to meat and fish, a pregnant woman's diet includes cereals with milk, cheese, eggs, cottage cheese, dairy products, vegetables and fruits. To strengthen the placenta and the walls of the uterus, a lot of vitamin E is required. Most of all it is in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.
It is advisable to use only high-quality and safe products that have passed sanitary control. If you suspect that meat or fish contains antibiotics or growth hormones, it is better to refuse them.
Sex and contraindications
If there is no threat of miscarriage, sexual intercourse should not be interrupted. The child is reliably protected by the walls of the uterus and the thickness of the amniotic fluid, and sexual intercourse will not harm him. It is enough to choose comfortable positions and be careful not to damage the softened, loose cervix.
If morning sickness still persists, to which heartburn has joined, it is possible that gastritis or other pathologies of the digestive system have worsened against the background of pregnancy. Treatment under the guidance of a gastroenterologist will help to cope with the problem in a short time.
Comfortable clothes, a timely visit to a doctor, a positive emotional attitude, and rejection of bad habits - all this is very important for a favorable course of pregnancy.
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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