…..It seems that every day there is a study revealing the importance of having a normal level of vitamin D. A new report even points to an association between fibroids and vitamin D. Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of the uterine smooth muscle, and this affects approximately 30 to 40% of all women. It is one of the leading causes for a hysterectomy in the United States. In the laboratory it has been shown that an active metabolite of vitamin D can inhibit the growth of fibroid tissue.
…..Approximately 1000 women ages 35 to 49 years old were enrolled in a study where the vitamin D level was obtained, and the fibroid status was determined by ultrasound screenings of these premenopausal women. The group with normal vitamin D levels had a 30% lower risk of fibroids as compared to those with vitamin D insufficiency.
…..More research needs to be done to confirm these findings but it seems that sufficient vitamin D may be associated with a reduced risk of uterine fibroids. As always, speak to your health care provider before beginning any new vitamin supplement program.
…..Over the last 30 years, ultrasound has changed dramatically in how we evaluate early pregnancy. Transvaginal sonography has allowed us to assess early gestation with better clarity.
…..The gestational sac is the first visible sign of a normal
intrauterine pregnancy. This should be seen with the transvaginal sonogram by 5 weeks after the last menstrual period. The earliest embryonic structure is the yolk sac, and likewise, this can be seen as early as the end of the 5th week. Evaluating the yolk sac is important because it can point to problems in a pregnancy. If it is not present at this early time, or if the shape is irregular or large, this can be the first sign of a nonviable pregnancy.
…..Near the 6th week from the last menstrual period, the embryo should be seen attached to the yolk sac, and fetal heart activity should be noted between the 6th and 7th week. When the gestational sac is approximately 2 cm, an embryo should be seen, and if it is not identified at this time, a blighted ovum is confirmed.
…..There are specific sonographic signs of a problem pregnancy:
- A small gestational sac around the embryo
- If the embryo does not increase in size by 1 mm per day
- A fetal heart beat at a rate of less than 120 beats per minute after 7 weeks of gestation.
…..Let us end this review on a positive note. If a patient has no abnormal symptoms, normal fetal heart activity, and 7 weeks of gestation has been reached, then there is a 99% chance of a successful pregnancy.