What is Group B Strep Test?
Group B streptococcus also known as Group B strep is a commonly found species of bacteria in the gut and genital tract of healthy humans. These bacteria are not harmful in adults but in pregnant women and in newborns the bacteria can lead to serious and even life-threatening medical conditions. A gynecologist may recommend that a pregnant woman has group B strep tests done by the third trimester. A vaginal and/or rectal swab is sent to the laboratory to test for presence of group B strep. A negative test result does not require any treatment but a positive test result requires antibiotic administration during labor. The test may be repeated on consecutive pregnancies as the results can change from time to time.
What is non-invasive prenatal testing?
Non-invasive prenatal testing, also known as non-invasive prenatal diagnosis, is a screening method to detect certain genetic defects in the unborn baby. This is a sophisticated test which examines the genetic material of the mother (maternal DNA) to determine whether the growing baby is at risk of suffering from genetic diseases like Down syndrome (trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) or defects in the sex chromosomes (Turner syndrome).
This testing also helps to determine the blood group and sex of the baby. Non-invasive prenatal test is usually recommended in women with certain risk factors for carrying baby with genetic or other defects. The consulting doctor and genetic counselor helps the patient to explore the risks and benefits associated with prenatal testing and other decisions that may need to be taken.
Hormone therapy for breast cancer aims at administering drugs to treat certain varieties of breast cancer which are responsive to certain hormones. The most commonly used technique to treat breast cancer in women includes administration of drugs that work by blocking the hormone estrogen from binding to its receptor.Another important mode of treating breast cancer using hormones is by suppressing production of estrogen by the body.
About the Screening
First trimester screening is a prenatal screening test that provides vital information regarding the risk of fetal chromosomal defects like Down syndrome. An ultrasound is done to measure the size of the gap at the back of the neck of the baby (nuchal translucency) and blood test done to measure two pregnancy related chemicals in the mother’s blood namely pregnancy associated plasma protein A and human chorionic gonadotrophin. This test is usually done between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy but first trimester screening may be done at about 9 weeks.
First trimester testing should be considered as necessary although it is largely optional. Based upon the results of the ultrasound, blood tests and the mother’s medical and family history, the doctor determines the risk of genetic defects in the baby. Patients with low risk level are more likely to have a healthy pregnancy and have a healthy baby. Sometimes if the risk level comes out as moderate or high the doctor may recommend other confirmatory tests.
What is IUGR?
IUGR stands for intrauterine growth restriction and simply means that the unborn baby has not grown to a size that is expected for a certain stage of pregnancy. In other words the fetus is smaller than expected. The more correct medical definition is a fetal weight below the 10th percentile for gestational age as measured on ultrasound. It is also known as small for gestational age (SGA).
This can occur for any number of reasons and sometimes the baby may appear smaller in size on ultrasound but is actually a normal size when born. It is also possible that some babies are just naturally smaller in size. The problem is when the babies smaller size is due to some impairment while it is growing in the uterus thereby preventing the fetus from growing to its natural size.
What is Implanon?
Implanon is a birth control implant which is placed in woman’s’ body to avoid pregnancy. These implants have become widely known by the trade name Implanon. The implant looks like a flexible rod made up of plastic and is usually placed under the skin of the upper arm. It acts by releasing the hormone progesterone in the body so that the cervical secretion becomes thick making sperm penetration almost impossible. It also causes the inner lining of the uterus to become thick and the hormone suppresses ovum production to a certain extent.
What is mastectomy?
Mastectomy is a form of surgery in which the entire breast or a portion of breast tissue is removed in order to prevent or treat breast cancer. Many women think that a mastectomy is the only surgical option. In early stage breast cancer a lumpectomy can be performed where only the cancerous breast lump is removed. Although both the procedures are effective, sometimes mastectomy is preferred over lumpectomy. Newer mastectomy procedures helps in preserving the skin of the breast thereby making it easier to maintain the natural appearance of breast during the reconstructive procedures. The reconstruction procedure can be performed at the same time as a mastectomy.
What is intrauterine insemination?
Intrauterine inseminisation / insemination is a fertility procedure where ‘washed’ sperms are concentrated and placed directly inside the woman’s uterus on the day after ovum has been released for the purpose of fertilization. Following introduction of sperm inside the uterine cavity, the health sperm cells travels to the fallopian tube and fertilizes the egg cell ultimately leading to pregnancy. There are several reasons why intrauterine insemination is recommended. The procedure is scheduled by either coordinating with the normal menstrual cycle or with the administration of drugs which promote ovulation.
What is a C-section?
A Caesarean section, also referred to as C-section for short, is a surgical procedure in which the baby is delivered from the mother’s womb by surgically opening the abdomen and then the uterus. A C-section may be planned and done before the pregnancy reaches full term if there are any health risks to the mother or child. It may also be done as an emergency procedure during childbirth.
However, these days it has become fairly common in developed nations for women to opt for a C-section. In this case it is referred to as an elective Caesarean section meaning that the mother has chosen this route to deliver the baby. There has been some controversy recently as to mothers and their obstetricians opting to deliver babies through elective C-section as early as 36 weeks to ensure that the mother does not go into labor by waiting any later.
What is breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation includes placement of breast implants , correction of defect and enhancing the size, form and feel of the breast. The surgical implant includes use saline-filled or silicone-filled prosthesis. Most women undergo breast augmentation as a procedure to boost their self-esteem and confidence.
In other cases it is done as a part of breast reconstruction surgery following surgical removal of breast due to cancer, severe trauma to the breast or due to other breast diseases. Before considering breast augmentation surgery one should consult plastic surgeon regarding the risk factors, possible complications and the follow-up care that will be required.