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The following information does not replace the advice of a healthcare professional.
If you have any questions, please consult with your obstetrician.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness refers to nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, most often during the first trimester. It is most common in the morning, but some women may experience it at other times or even all day long. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. While most women experience morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy and ending in the second trimester, it can continue throughout the pregnancy. You should contact your healthcare professional if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Your nausea and vomiting are not improving.
  • You have lost more than 2 pounds
  • You are vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
  • You are experiencing severe vomiting (more than 3-4 times in 24 hours)
  • You are unable to keep any fluids down.
  • You are craving something unusual, such as dirt or metal.

For more information and ideas to combat morning sickness, please visit: www.americanpregnancy.org/?s=morning+sickness.

Fetal Development

For the chart that shows the developing pregnancy, see and scroll down to the chart: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-lifespandevelopment/chapter/teratogens/

STI/STD’s and Pregnancy

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia

1 in 5 people in the US have an STD.1 Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterium that grows in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract in women and men. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat.2 Gonorrhea can be passed from mother to baby during delivery, which can cause serious health problems for the baby. Early testing and treatment is important. For more information on gonorrhea, see: https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021). STI Incidence/Prevalence Estimates. Retrieved February 2024 from http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2021/2018-STI-incidence-prevalence-estimates-press-release.html. 2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021). Gonorrhea: Basic Fact Sheet. Retrieved February 2024 from https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm.

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterium which can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system. Use of hormonal contraceptives increases the risk of contracting chlamydia.3 While most people with Chlamydia do not know that they have the infection, this bacterium has been linked to 30-50% of all ectopic pregnancies, a life-threatening situation for the mother.4 For more information about chlamydia, see: https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/.

STDs can have serious health consequences. If left untreated, STDs can increase the risk of HIV infection or can cause chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, and/or severe pregnancy and newborn complications.5 For more information, see: https://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm.

For Further STD Testing And Treatment

Berks Community Health Center
838 Penn Street
Reading, PA 19602

Farias Medical Clinic
525 Penn Street
Reading, PA 19601
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9AM to 4 PM

Center for Public Health (Tower Health)
301 S. 7th Avenue, Suite 3170
West Reading, PA 19611
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8AM to 4 PM

Co-County Wellness Services
429 Walnut Street
Reading, PA 19601
Hours: M, W, Th, F; 9AM to 5PM and T; 11AM to 7PM

What’s Your Sexual Risk Exposure

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021). Chlamydia: Fact Sheet. Retrieved February 2024 from https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/. 4 Nethra, H.S., Praneetha, K., Sreelatha, S., Bhairi, S.S., (2018). A study on risk factors and clinical presentation of ectopic pregnancy. The New Indian Journal of OBGYN; 4(2): 146-149 5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2023). Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), various pages. Retrieved February 2024 from https://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm.

Take a look at the chart here: https://www.chastity.com/qa/sexual-exposure-chart/.

Abortion and STI’s


  1. Chlamydia
  2. Gonorrhea
  3. Bacterial Vaginosis

All women considering abortion should be tested for STI’s, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms, to ensure that there are no possible complications.

Pregnancy Complications

Rh Factor

Have you ever wondered, “What is your blood type?” If you know your blood type, you may answer “O positive, A negative, or B positive.” This is a very important question if you are pregnant, even if you have a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy or an elective abortion. Just as there are different major blood groups such as type A and Type B blood, there also is an “Rh factor.” The Rh factor is the type of protein found on red blood cells. Most people have the Rh factor, meaning they are Rh positive. Others do not have the Rh factor, making them Rh negative. Instead of saying, “I’m A, Rh negative,” we simply say, “I’m A negative.” A simple blood test can tell whether you are Rh positive or Rh negative.

The Rh factor causes problems when an Rh negative person’s blood comes in contact with Rh-positive blood. A woman and her pregnancy do not share blood systems. However, a small amount of blood from the pregnancy (whether Rh negative or Rh positive) can cross the placenta into the woman’s system. These Rh negative women become sensitized during their first pregnancy, if the pregnancy is Rh positive. The woman’s body makes antibodies that attack the blood of the Rh positive pregnancy in future pregnancies. When this happens, the antibodies break down the pregnancy’s red blood cells which cause anemia and/or serious illness, brain damage or even death of the pregnancy. The initial pregnancy and each subsequent pregnancy must be treated and in most cases, the condition becomes worse in later pregnancies.

A simple blood test can identify a woman’s blood type and Rh factor. There are even rapid blood typing kits purchasable at stores or online you can take at home for this information. Another blood test, called an antibody screen, can show if an Rh negative woman has developed antibodies to Rh positive blood.

Whether you plan to have an elective abortion or carry your pregnancy to term, you need to have this simple blood test done because without treatment of the antibodies in your system, if you are Rh negative, any subsequent pregnancies will be adversely affected.

Contact your healthcare provider for more information on the Rh Factor. A referral can be given to you by our medical staff. (Source: ACOG (American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology) www.ACOG.org

Miscarriage Precautions +

A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy less than halfway (20 weeks) through the pregnancy. Please remember that there is probably nothing you did or did not do that caused the pregnancy to be lost, and most women who miscarry go on to experience full-term pregnancies later. Some miscarriages have no immediate symptoms, but one or more of the following symptoms MAY suggest that you are miscarrying:

  • Bleeding greater than your typical menstrual period
  • Mild to severe back pain (often worse than menstrual cramps)
  • True contractions, very painful, happening every 5-20 minutes
  • Bright red bleeding saturating more than a pad with blood in one hour, with our without cramps
  • Tissue or clot-like material passing from the vagina
  • Sudden decrease in signs of pregnancy

If you experience one or more of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention at your doctor’s office, or if you do not have one, go to the emergency room. If you are Rh negative [link to Rh factor], you will be given an injection of RhoGAM to prevent Rh problems in the future. For more information: http://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/pregnancy-loss/signs-of-miscarriage/.

Ectopic Precautions +

An ectopic pregnancy can also be referred to as a “tubal pregnancy.” An ectopic pregnancy is one that is growing in the wrong place in your body. While a pregnancy normally grows inside the uterus, an ectopic pregnancy can be in the fallopian tubes (where the egg and sperm meet) in the ovary, cervix, or the abdominal cavity (belly). An ectopic pregnancy cannot survive outside the uterus and cannot be placed inside the uterus. This can be a life-threatening situation for the woman. Symptoms can include:

  • Sharp or stabbing pain on one side only that may come and go and vary in intensity. The pain may be in the pelvis, abdomen, or even the shoulder and neck due to blood from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy gathering under the diaphragm
  • Vaginal bleeding, heavier or lighter than your normal period
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Weakness, dizziness, or fainting

If you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. If you do not have a doctor, go to the emergency room right away. If you are Rh negative [link to Rh factor], discuss this with your healthcare provider. For more information: http://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-complications/ectopic-pregnancy/.

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