I Stand Against Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a terrible thing to force upon a woman. It comes with a plethora of adverse health risks and as a real docotr, i know all of them. Let us review:

Normal, frequent or expectable temporary side effects of pregnancy:

  • exhaustion (weariness common from first weeks)
  • altered appetite and senses of taste and smell
  • nausea and vomiting (50% of women, first trimester)
  • heartburn and indigestion
  • constipation
  • weight gain
  • dizziness and light-headedness
  • bloating, swelling, fluid retention
  • hemmorhoids
  • abdominal cramps
  • yeast infections
  • congested, bloody nose
  • acne and mild skin disorders
  • skin discoloration (chloasma, face and abdomen)
  • mild to severe backache and strain
  • increased headaches
  • difficulty sleeping, and discomfort while sleeping
  • increased urination and incontinence
  • bleeding gums
  • pica
  • breast pain and discharge
  • swelling of joints, leg cramps, joint pain
  • difficulty sitting, standing in later pregnancy
  • inability to take regular medications
  • shortness of breath
  • higher blood pressure
  • hair loss
  • tendency to anemia
  • curtailment of ability to participate in some sports and activities
  • infection including from serious and potentially fatal disease
    (pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with non-pregnant women, and are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases)
  • extreme pain on delivery
  • hormonal mood changes, including normal post-partum depression
  • continued post-partum exhaustion and recovery period (exacerbated if a c-section — major surgery — is required, sometimes taking up to a full year to fully recover)

Normal, expectable, or frequent PERMANENT side effects of pregnancy:

  • stretch marks (worse in younger women)
  • loose skin
  • permanent weight gain or redistribution
  • abdominal and vaginal muscle weakness
  • pelvic floor disorder (occurring in as many as 35% of middle-aged former child-bearers and 50% of elderly former child-bearers, associated with urinary and rectal incontinence, discomfort and reduced quality of life)
  • changes to breasts
  • varicose veins
  • scarring from episiotomy or c-section
  • other permanent aesthetic changes to the body (all of these are downplayed by women, because the culture values youth and beauty)
  • increased proclivity for hemmorhoids
  • loss of dental and bone calcium (cavities and osteoporosis)

Occasional complications and side effects:

  • hyperemesis gravidarum
  • spousal/partner abuse 
  • temporary and permanent injury to back
  • severe scarring requiring later surgery (especially after additional pregnancies)
  • dropped (prolapsed) uterus (especially after additional pregnancies, and other pelvic floor weaknesses — 11% of women, including cystocele, rectocele, and enterocele)
  • pre-eclampsia (edema and hypertension, the most common complication of pregnancy, associated with eclampsia, and affecting 7 – 10% of pregnancies)
  • eclampsia (convulsions, coma during pregnancy or labor, high risk of death)
  • gestational diabetes
  • placenta previa
  • anemia (which can be life-threatening)
  • thrombocytopenic purpura
  • severe cramping
  • embolism (blood clots)
  • medical disability requiring full bed rest (frequently ordered during part of many pregnancies varying from days to months for health of either mother or baby)
  • diastasis recti, also torn abdominal muscles
  • mitral valve stenosis (most common cardiac complication)
  • serious infection and disease (e.g. increased risk of tuberculosis)
  • hormonal imbalance
  • ectopic pregnancy (risk of death)
  • broken bones (ribcage, “tail bone”)
  • hemorrhage and
  • numerous other complications of delivery
  • refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • aggravation of pre-pregnancy diseases and conditions (e.g. epilepsy is present in .5% of pregnant women, and the pregnancy alters drug metabolism and treatment prospects all the while it increases the number and frequency of seizures)
  • severe post-partum depression and psychosis
  • research now indicates a possible link between ovarian cancer and female fertility treatments, including “egg harvesting” from infertile women and donors
  • research also now indicates correlations between lower breast cancer survival rates and proximity in time to onset of cancer of last pregnancy
  • research also indicates a correlation between having six or more pregnancies and a risk of coronary and cardiovascular disease

Less common (but serious) complications:

  • peripartum cardiomyopathy
  • cardiopulmonary arrest
  • magnesium toxicity
  • severe hypoxemia/acidosis
  • massive embolism
  • increased intracranial pressure, brainstem infarction
  • molar pregnancy, gestational trophoblastic disease (like a pregnancy-induced cancer)
  • malignant arrhythmia
  • circulatory collapse
  • placental abruption
  • obstetric fistula

More permanent side effects:

  • future infertility
  • permanent disability
  • death.

Doesn’t sound so harmless now does it. Remember this the next time you think about telling someone not to abort.

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