Sat | Mar 23, 2019

Dear Doc | Summer heat unbearable with pregnancy

Published:Sunday | July 15, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Q Dear Doc, I recently read what you wrote about pregnancy and exercise. I, too, am pregnant and I have been trying to exercise, but I cannot manage the summer heat! At first I thought it was the exercise that was making me feel sick, but now, even at work and at home, not doing anything, I just feel hot and sick and sweating a lot. I am afraid this is not good for the baby. Is there anything I can do to not feel so sick in this heat?

A It has been very hot lately, and pregnancy can make the summer seem even hotter!

This is because pregnant women already have some degree of heat intolerance.

Here are a few tips to surviving the summer heat.




- Stay indoors as much as possible with the air conditioner or fan turned on.

- Apply a cool, damp rag to your chest, the back of your neck, or your forehead. This is also a good way to keep your body temperature down.

- Drink plenty of fluids. Water is good, and so are orange juice, milk and sports drinks, which can help replace electrolytes that are being sweated away.

Do not mistake sports drinks with energy drinks, they are very different and energy drinks should be avoided!

- Eat water-rich fruits such as watermelon, and salad vegetables such as cucumber and lettuce.

- Swim. It does not have to be a pool - a river or beach will do. This will not only lower your body temperature, but can also provide a good, low-impact workout while still keeping cool.

- Wear cool, loose, light-coloured fabrics that are less likely to cause sweating and that allows sweat to evaporate easily.




The heat can also be very draining to your energy and results in feelings of tiredness.

- Lie down for 30 to 60 minutes a day, whether during a lunchtime break or at the end of the workday.

- The heat can also worsen another common problem in pregnancies, and that is leg swelling. To help reduce the swelling, keep your legs up whenever you can, even while at work and when sleeping.

- Wear comfortable shoes. If possible, wear shoes that are a half-size larger than your normal size, this will accommodate for the expected swelling.




Sometimes you may still get behind on your hydration, or the heat can get the best of you. However, if you experience any of the following - feeling weak, dizziness, light-headedness, or even slight nausea - these are often early signs of overheating and dehydration.

If the dizziness or nausea continues after a good rest and plenty of fluids, or you start to have other symptoms such as vomiting or contractions, seek medical attention and consult your gynaecologist.

Enjoy the summer.


Unusual boil during periods


Q Good day, Doc. I have an issue I'd like you to assist with. In the last year and a half, whenever my period is near, a little, sore red spot, almost like a boil but not the size of one, appears on my vagina (labia majora). When my cycle is complete it goes away. Sometimes it comes after the menses. This doesn't happen every month, though. It always come at the same spot. Can you explain why? Thank you very much.

A Good day. That truly is quite interesting, and based on its association with your period, it may very well be endometriosis. It is however difficult to correctly say so, as more information will be needed to confirm this.

Endometriosis is the presence of endometrial tissue (tissue that lines the womb) in locations other than the uterus/womb. This tissue usually thickens during your menstrual cycle, then bleeds at the time of your period. If indeed your swelling is endometriosis it, as you said, would appear around the time of your period, be swollen tense and tender. It may contain blood if squeezed or stuck with a syringe.

As such, to confirm diagnosis, I do advise that you visit your gynaecologist when the swelling is present and have them take a look at it, and start the relevant treatment.