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By Vision Reporter

Added 17th January 2006 03:00 AM

Dear Doctor, Is it possible for someone in her early 40s, with high blood pressure, to have a baby? I gave birth to a healthy baby girl last year and I want to get a baby boy. I have had blood pressure for seven years

Dear Doctor, Is it possible for someone in her early 40s, with high blood pressure, to have a baby? I gave birth to a healthy baby girl last year and I want to get a baby boy. I have had blood pressure for seven years

Is it possible to conceive at 40?

Dear Doctor, Is it possible for someone in her early 40s, with high blood pressure, to have a baby? I gave birth to a healthy baby girl last year and I want to get a baby boy. I have had blood pressure for seven years
MN


Dear MN,
The chances of becoming pregnant are highest when one is in the 20s but decrease with age, becoming essentially zero at menopause. The date for menopause varies from woman to woman, so the time when any woman will stop being able to conceive is also not predictable. Indeed, there are reports of women giving birth at 60 and beyond. The fact that you gave birth last year means you are probably still fertile. Your chances of becoming pregnant may be less than when you were younger, but are not zero. High blood pressure does not stop a woman from becoming pregnant but there are more chances of the pregnancy having problems. There is therefore, need to monitor the pregnancy to avoid complications. I suggest that you involve your physician and obstetrician in planning for the pregnancy. The physician will make sure that the drugs for pressure that you are using are safe during conception and pregnancy. The obstetrician and midwife will monitor the pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery period so that you are successful.


Help, are we safe with Hepatitis B?
Dear Doctor,
My fiancé and I took a health status check recently and I was found with the Hepatitis B virus. A second test showed I was negative, but I remain a potential carrier. Doctors say if my fiancé is immunised, we can have healthy children and my fiance will not acquire it from me. Are we safe?
SBM
Canberra, Australia


Dear SBM, Most (90-95%) adults infected by Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) get no problems with it. You did not have any symptoms, but discovered the infection at a routine test. A second test came up negative. These facts mean that you were most likely recently infected and your immune system is controlling it. Complete control takes up to six months, during which time you may be potentially infectious. For the few people whose bodies fail to control the virus, they get complications like liver failure, liver scars (cirrhosis) and liver cancer, which are hard to treat. They can also infect others and it is worse in children. To protect others, close contacts like your fiancé and household contacts who are negative need to be vaccinated against HBV. The vaccine is safe and very effective. For a baby, infection occurs during delivery and this can be prevented. If you are infectious, the child will immediately receive vaccination and an injection of Hepatitis B immunoglobulin. So, you are all fairly safe with adequate follow up.

Dr. Paul
Semugoma semugoma@hotmail.com
Write to Ask The Doctor,
Box 9815, Kampala
health@newvision.co.ug

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