I have no idea how many times I've heard about the magic "shot" in Mecca. "My (insert as you like....friend, sister-in-law, cousin....) told me it made her bleeding stop immediately!" It got to the point that I started doubting the advice I traditionally gave to patient (see 8/30 post) and started to wonder if there was some medication I had forgotten about or overlooked. I ended up talking with a good friend of mine who is also an OB/GYN, who actually lives in Riyadh and has herself been on Hajj several times.
As Ramadan comes to an end and we prepare to celebrate the great holiday of Eid al Fitr, there are many of us with our eyes on a bigger prize...our upcoming trip to Hajj. For younger women, there is always an anxious thought in the back of our minds: what if our period is due during those few precious days?
First of all, congratulations! Pregnancy is an exciting time for a woman as her body goes through the changes of each trimester. At the same time, pregnancy puts a lot of strain on a woman's body. And then, the blessings of Ramadan are upon you....and you're nauseated!During winter months, when the day is 10-12 hours, fasting is not as concerning an issue as it is during the summer months. Of course, nutrition and hydration are always important in pregnancy, but a 10 hour fast is not that much longer than the recommended 8 hours of sleep at night (for which we don't give women any guidelines). Nor is it much longer than the required 8 hour fast before the glucose test for diabetes that we ask all women to do at the end of their second trimester. So really, the question is about fasting long, hot days.
Having grown up in the United States, being comfortable with the rights and limitations of being a minority in the country of the "Bill of Rights", it still surprises me how rarely patients understand their "rights" and the limitations of those "rights" when it comes to requesting female providers and caretakers.