I was thinking about abortion, choice, life, all that today - I got drawn into a debate on this major anti-choice website. I usually try to avoid it - trying to reason with many of the commenters on sites like that is like banging your head against a wall. Mainly cause they twist what I'm saying and are really talented at doing so. Anyway...one of the things that came up was laws about mandatory counseling before an abortion. Personally, making sure a woman knows everything isn't a problem - what's a problem is the wait-period...and assuming that women don't ALREADY know these things or WON'T ASK or something....but still. I was thinking of that and then thought that perhaps, before a woman gets pregnant - or starts trying- there should be mandatory counseling about the risks of pregnancy. So I looked them up. Some I already knew, some are really rare, etc. But anyway - I thought I'd post a list. I think women should know everything they need before they decide to try for a pregnancy. (By the way, I've been thinking about the whole pregnancy thing for awhile now and even with all these risks, I STILL want to try eventually...I wonder what that says about the whole mandatory counseling thing, other than that's it's an inconvenience? Just a spare thought)....
Sorry for the wall of text:
Normal, frequent, or expectable side effects of pregnancy:
exhaustion, altered appetite and senses of taste and smell, nausea and vomiting, heartburn and indigestion, weight gain, dizziness and light-headedness, bloating, swelling, fluid retention, hemmorhoids, cramps, yeast infections, congestion, bloody nose, acne and mild skin disorders, skin discolorations, 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 joint and join pain, leg cramps, difficulty sitting, 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 (immune suppression during pregnancy) extreme pain on delivery! hormonal mood changes, including normal post-partum depression, continued post-partum exhaustion and recovery period (especially for c-sections)
Normal, expectable or frequent PERMANENT side effects of pregnancy:
stretch marks, loose skin, permanent weight gain or redistribution, abdominal and vaginal muscle weakness, pelvic floor disorder, changes to breasts, varicose veins, scarring from episiotomy or c-section, other pemanent aesthetic changes to the body, increased proclivity for hemmorhoids, loss of dental and bone calcium (cavities and osteoporosis)
Occasional complication and side effects:
spousal/partner abuse, hyperemesis gravidarum, temporary and permanent back injury, severe scarring requiring later surgery (especially after multiple pregnancies), dropped uterus (especially after multiple pregnancies) pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, gestational diabetes, placenta previa, anemia, thrombocytopenic purpura, severe cramping, embolism, medical disability requiring full bed-rest, diastasis recti and torn abdominal muscles, mitral valve stenosis, serious infection and disease, ectopic pregnancy (risk of death) broken bones, hemorrhage, delivery complication, refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease, aggravation of pre-pregnancy diseases and conditions, severe post-partum depression and psychosis, ovarian cancer( from fertility treatments) coronary and cardiovascular disease (6 plus pregnancies)
Less common complications:
peripartum cardiomyopathy, cardiopulmonary arrest, magnesium toxicity, severe hypoxemia/acidosis, massive embolism, increased intracranial pressure, brainstem infarction, molar pregnancy, gestational trophoblastic disease, malignant arrhythmia, circulatory collapse, placental abruption, obstetric fistula
More permanent side effects:
future infertility, permanent disability, death.