An Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the 37 Military Hospital, Dr. Caroline Ladzekpo has cautioned newlyweds to stay away from pregnancy until after six months because research has shown that conception during the first six months exposes the woman to a condition called Preeclampsia.
According to Dr. Ladzekpo, the woman’s system takes time to familiarize itself with the man’s sperm and adjust to it for conception.
“It is advisable to wait for at least six months after marriage before conception; by then the body of the woman would have adjusted to the man’s sperm,” she said.
She was speaking with Afia Amankwaah on Nyinsen Ne Awoo last Sunday on Adom FM between 8.00 and 9.00pm.
“Preeclampsia is common among first time mothers who have not had sexual intercourse with their husbands but get pregnant during honeymoon,” she said.
Dr. Ladzekpo explained that Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to the liver and kidneys.
She said it usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal.
According to the World Health Organization, preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and deaths. It causes an estimated 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths globally, every year.
In developing countries like Ghana, a woman is seven times likely to develop preeclampsia than a woman in a developed country.
Preeclampsia has no known cause but is likely to affect women who have a history of chronic hypertension.
It can also affect first time pregnant women or women who have changed spouses, riskier for very young pregnant women as well as pregnant women older than 40 years among others.
Dr. Ladzekpo added that the condition shows same symptoms as that of pregnancy and hence many women do not notice it until it is advanced.
She called on pregnant women to go for regular antenatal class and talk to their gynecologists about their feelings and experiences to help prevent and diagnose the condition before it gets out of hand.