December, the season of parties and Christmas celebrations, has begun and with it, many people feel it’s the perfect time to “kiss and make up” with their significant other in order to enjoy a love-filled holiday season. During this time of the year many new couples form, while others decide to give it another try.
However, be careful! Did you know that, according to information by the Statistics Department of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), this is the time when most women get pregnant? Based on data from this institution, in September and October of each year (exactly 9 to 10 months after the holiday season) the greatest number of births in the country take place. For the past few years this number has been on the rise, ranging between 14 and 21%, depending on the year.
Therefore, before making the decision to bring a new member into the family (or having it come by surprise), or on the contrary, before deciding not to have any more children, it is advisable to carefully plan and consider your choices.
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) affect your baby not only during pregnancy but may also be transmitted to your baby during delivery, therefore you should always request to be tested before becoming pregnant.
- Women who are obese have a greater risk of developing hypertension and diabetes during pregnancy, whereas women with a balanced diet and who exercise regularly will have a better pregnancy and a faster delivery.
- Every woman in reproductive age who wishes or could become pregnant should take folic acid in order to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
- Smoking, alcohol consumption and drugs will affect your baby, therefore it is important to quit these habits before becoming pregnant.
- If you are planning on getting pregnant or are already pregnant, consult your physician before taking any type of medication! Likewise, it is always important to inform your physician if you are currently pregnant, since some medications may harm your baby or cause fetal malformations.
Getting a Vasectomy
(minor surgical procedure done to prevent conception):
- Remember that the results are not immediate! There is still a risk of having a pregnancy even after the vasectomy has been done. At least 30 to 40 ejaculations, or a 3 to 4 month-period, are needed to consider the procedure a success. However, the best way of confirming this is by having a semen analysis in a laboratory.
- In most cases a vasectomy is NOT reversible and therefore you should carefully consider your options before making a decision.
- After the procedure you should rest for at least 5 days and avoid lifting anything heavier than 11 pounds.
- In most cases, this procedure does not affect sexual desire or erectile function.
- A vasectomy is a relatively simple and fast procedure that can be done in an outpatient setting. It does not require general anesthesia and, in most cases, is almost pain-free.