Columbus ObGyn Explains the Link Between Pregnancy and Sleep Apnea

Columbus ObGyn

According to Columbus ObGyn Dr. Otto Umana, a recent study published in the British Journal of Gynecology has come to the conclusion that hypertension and snoring can lead to sleep apnea in the later stages of pregnancy.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that affects more people than any other kind. Typified by pauses in breathing that can last as much as 30 seconds, sleep apnea is caused by relaxed throat muscles that can obstruct a person’s airways.

When oxygen is cut off from the brain during sleep, the brain will wake the person up, resulting in sleepless nights and fatigue the following day.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been known to affect a high number of hypertensive pregnant women, and snoring is the top symptom of this disorder. However, according to your Columbus ObGyn, pregnant women who do not snore are less likely to develop apnea or any other sleep-related disorders.

Pregnant women who snore typically have less oxygen in their blood than pregnant women who do not. This often leads to hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.

Generally speaking, women who have hypertension tend to have a milder form of sleep apnea, but studies indicate that over 25 percent of women with high blood pressure suffer from bad obstructive sleep apnea.

Your Columbus ObGyn has found that snoring can affect one of the main blood vessels that bring blood and oxygen to the brain, leading to inflammation of the artery and trauma.

The lack of oxygen brought on by obstructive sleep apnea can lead to traumatic brain injury if left untreated long enough.

But pregnant women who snore during pregnancy are not the only people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Recent studies have revealed the effects of sleep apnea on children.

Researchers have found that up to 3 percent of children have obstructive sleep apnea, which can lead to hyperactivity and symptoms of attention deficit disorders. These children are also at risk for heart and lung problems, which can worsen as they get older.

Obstructive sleep apnea in children can also lead to bedwetting, and children who are overweight have a much greater threat of sleep apnea than children who retain a healthy weight.

If you have questions regarding the link between pregnancy and sleep apnea – or any other pregnancy-related questions – call the office of Columbus ObGyn Dr. Otto Umana today to schedule an appointment.


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Dr. Otto Umana Otto Umana
MD, FACOG
 
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