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Health Tips for January 17

Posted Jan 17 2009 1:53am

Health Tip: Signs of Ovulation

If you're trying to get pregnant, it's important to know when you're ovulating.

Here are common signs that may indicate ovulation, courtesy of the American Pregnancy Association:

  • A change in cervical fluid appearance. During or just before ovulation, cervical fluid usually takes on the appearance of egg whites. But cervical fluid appearance varies from woman to woman.
  • A spike in your basal body temperature -- your temperature at rest measured when you first get up in the morning -- can indicate that you have just ovulated. In most women, basal temperature goes down slightly just before ovulation. This is followed by a sharp rise in temperature, a sign that ovulation has just occurred.
  • Cervical changes -- a woman may find that her cervix feels softer than usual, and may be in a higher position.
  • Other symptoms -- deemed secondary because they may not happen as consistently or in as many women -- may include spotting, tenderness of the breasts, cramping, bloating, greater awareness of the senses, and a stronger sex drive.

Health Tip: Easing a Croupy Cough

Croup occurs when the larynx (voicebox) is infected by a virus. It is most commonly identified by a hoarse voice, tight breathing, and a low-pitched cough that sounds like a seal's bark.

The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital offers these suggestions to help soothe your child's croupy cough:

  • Let your child stand in a hot shower and absorb the steam (be careful that the water is not hot enough to burn).
  • While the child is in the shower, hold a wet washcloth near your child's face, and have the child breathe in.
  • Add warm water to a humidifier in your child's room.
  • To avoid pneumonia, it is important that your child cough up mucus that has built up in the lungs. So the idea is to promote a "productive" cough, the hospital says, not prevent a cough entirely.
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