ASK THE DOC

Is it safe to take over-the-counter med­i­ca­tion when you have a fever dur­ing preg­nancy?

Young Parents (Singapore) - - Contents -

QI had some spot­ting dur­ing the first trimester of my preg­nancy. Would rest­ing more have pre­vented it?

ABleed­ing in early preg­nancy is a com­mon oc­cur­rence, af­fect­ing about 20 to 25 per cent of ex­pec­tant women.

It may be as­so­ci­ated with ab­dom­i­nal pain, and some­times not. Take heart that it doesn’t al­ways mean that you’ve lost your baby, though.

It may be due to im­plan­ta­tion bleed­ing (when the de­vel­op­ing em­bryo sticks onto the womb lin­ing to grow) or threat­ened abor­tion (the preg­nancy is grow­ing, but there is higher risk of im­pend­ing mis­car­riage).

It may also be due to an ec­topic preg­nancy (when the fer­tilised egg does not im­plant in the cor­rect po­si­tion in the uterus) or that a mis­car­riage has al­ready oc­curred. Other non-preg­nancy re­lated causes, such as a cer­vi­cal polyp or haem­or­rhoids, may also be pos­si­ble.

De­pend­ing on the cause, hav­ing suf­fi­cient rest may not pre­vent the bleed­ing. Some women con­tinue to re­main very ac­tive in the first trimester.

See your gynae, as she will need to ex­am­ine you and do an ul­tra­sound scan to make sure you and your baby are healthy.

QIs it safe to take over-the-counter med­i­ca­tion when I have a fever dur­ing preg­nancy?

AFever in preg­nancy could be as­so­ci­ated with ill­nesses, such as com­mon colds or a uri­nary tract in­fec­tion. If your tem­per­a­ture ex­ceeds 38.5 deg C, it is safe to take parac­eta­mol at the nor­mal dosage.

A per­sis­tent high fever can harm your de­vel­op­ing baby. If your tem­per­a­ture doesn’t come down in one to two days, you need to see your gen­eral prac­ti­tioner.

It is com­mon for the im­mune sys­tem to weaken when you’re preg­nant. To keep your­self healthy, try tak­ing a 1g Vi­ta­min C sup­ple­ment daily. Hav­ing a balanced diet rich in fruits and veg­eta­bles will help, as well. Make sure you don’t cut down on your usual du­ra­tion of sleep.

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