The most Interesting Way to Deal with Preeclampsia

My new BP monitor!
Creative Commons License photo credit: joebeone

Preeclampsia is one of the most common conditions faced by pregnant women, and it can be really frustrating. Essentially, preeclampsia is having high blood pressure due to pregnancy. Preeclampsia can’t be cured, other than by having your baby. Some women, who experience severe preeclampsia, may even be put on bed rest, especially later on in pregnancy. Researchers aren’t really sure what causes preeclampsia, but there is a school of thought that says it’s a reaction of the mother’s immune system to the father’s genes.

Essentially, your body doesn’t like having to deal with your partner’s DNA, and that makes the immune system work overtime. The good news for your partner, however, is that there might be one way to help. According to a recent article at Psychology Today, a woman with preeclamapsia might actually develop a higher tolerance of the father’s genes by having a higher degree of exposure to his antigens.

There are a couple of ways to do this. One is with a blood transfusion, which is likely to be time-consuming, painful, expensive, and not something your doctor is likely to want to do. The other way is for your partner to  deliver some of that genetic material via sperm.

That’s right. Your partner may be able to help with your preeclampsia by having sex.

Now, before you husbands who happen to be lurking on this blog rush to the printer to show your pregnant wife just why you should have some private time, realize that this is entirely theoretical. There is not yet any medical evidence to suggest that generous servings of semen would in any way prevent preeclampsia.

To be sure, sex is a good thing during pregnancy, as long as you’re both interested and willing. It helps foster intimacy, and has other health benefits. All of that said, there is also evidence that eating chocolate may also help to reduce preeclampsia, so you may choose that as a viable alternative.

So, who’s going to forward this post on to their spouse?

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