Q: Good Dr. does sucking of Breast by husband prevent a wife from becoming pregnant? Because l have been trying for some time to get pregnant.
A: Hi dear, thanks for writing in. The good news is no, this cannot stop you from becoming pregnant 🙂 When you are pregnant though, sucking can lead to the release of a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone can also cause uterine contractions…which you absolutely do not want when you’re pregnant until it’s time for delivery. The good news is that the oxytocin released is not enough to cause significant contractions that can lead to a pre-term labour. However, people who already have a history of pre-term or premature contractions need to check with their doctors as nipple stimulation (either during sexual intercourse or breastfeeding may lead to pre-term contractions)
Now, about wanting to get pregnant….
You gave me no idea how long you’ve been trying for a baby. Not being able to have a child at the time that we expect it can be a harrowing experience…especially in Africa where a couple of months into your marriage, family members and even outsiders are beginning to look at you in suggestive ways. Some actually ask outright, ‘when are you guys planning to start having babies?’
However, in the medical world, we can only agree that perhaps there might be an issue after one full year of trying to have babies with no luck. This, however, implies that there is frequent and unprotected sexual intercourse. Frequency in this respect means that sexual intercourse should be at least 3 times in a week. Unprotected means that there should be no barrier protection like a condom. Don’t laugh…this has been known to happen. People use a condom and then expect to get pregnant 😀 The ejaculate (semen) should also be of significant volume.
So, if this has been established to have been happening for one year, the next thing is to run tests. The less ‘invasive’ tests are usually done first. This usually involves the husband who provides his semen for analysis. Other tests will now be run on the wife, which presumably has already happened in the case above.
Some causes of infertility in men include problems with the production of sperm, problems with the delivery of sperm, being exposed to environmental toxins (like sitting in hot tubs) and cancer.
Some causes of infertility in women include problems with ovulation, problems with the uterus and cervix, blockage or damage of the fallopian tube, thyroid problems, cancer etc.
Other risk factors for both sexes include use of alcohol and tobacco, being overweight or even underweight and age (the older people get, the more difficult it is to get pregnant).
Where a problem is identified, this is taken care of through various options like the use of drugs or surgery.
Oftentimes, no reason can be found for the infertility. In these instances, the couple may want to consider assisted reproduction. Your doctor will discuss the different options available in your area and if you can afford it, he will suggest other centers where better facilities exist.
Prevention of infertility is targeted at the risk factors. Quit smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, exercise moderately and keep your weight within normal limits.
Infertility is really nerve wracking, because nobody has an idea how long it’s going to last or what treatments are going to work best. Joining support groups and/or counseling sessions may be helpful during this period of waiting, patiently and prayerfully 😀
All the best! 🙂