If you are trying to get pregnant, it is good to know when you are at your most fertile state. One way to find out is to look for changes in your cervical mucus – the natural, healthy vaginal discharge that most women experience. 

As your hormones change over the course of your menstrual cycle, the amount, color and texture of your cervical mucus varies too. 
Everybody is different, and you may not see these exact variations in your own cervical mucus. The main thing to look for is some kind of change mid-cycle. In the meantime, you’ll improve your chance of conceiving by having sex every two days to three days throughout your cycle.

How to check your cervical mucus

You can check your cervical mucus by wiping with clean toilet paper, or by inserting a clean finger into your vagina and reaching upwards toward your cervix.

Watery cervical mucus: Possibly fertile after your period, you’ll probably have a few dry days, where you don’t notice much cervical mucus. A few days after this, you may notice some wetness, which could be yellow, white or cloudy. This type of mucus can be a sign that your body is starting to get ready for ovulation. Because sperm can live inside you for up to a week, waiting for an egg to be released, it’s worth having sex every two to three days during this phase.

Slippery, stringy egg white cervical mucus on woman’s fingers.

Egg white cervical mucus: Fertile when you’re at your most fertile, you may notice an increase in cervical mucus, and find that it becomes wetter and more slippery. It looks and feels like raw egg whites and it can stretch about 5cm without breaking in the middle.

This “egg white” cervical mucus is the most fertile, as it allows sperm to swim easily into the cervix. It’s also a sign that you’re about to ovulate. For the best chance of conceiving, have sex every two to three days during this fertile time. Sperm can live for up to seven days inside you, waiting for an egg to be released.

Creamy, lotion-like cervical mucus on woman’s fingers

Creamy cervical mucus: Non-fertile at other times in your cycle, you may notice cervical mucus that’s not particularly wet or slippery. This creamy cervical mucus is considered non-fertile because it makes it more difficult for sperm to reach your egg. Creamy cervical mucus can be a pearly white or creamy yellow. It’s thick and feels like lotion when rubbed between your fingers.

Thick and chunky cervical mucus on woman’s fingers

Sticky cervical mucus:
Non-fertile you may also notice cervical mucus that’s sticky or tacky towards the beginning or end of your cycle. This is the least fertile cervical mucus, as it’s hard for sperm to swim through it. It’s thick and lumpy, and feels like gluey paste.

Understanding your menstrual cycle: You could try noting the changes in your cervical mucus for a few months in a row. You may see a pattern that will help you work out when you’re at your most fertile.

VAGINAL Yeast Infection: Symptoms, Causes and Basic Preventive Tips

A vaginal Yeast Infection: Is a type of vaginitis — inflammation of the vagina characterized by vaginal irritation, intense itchiness and vaginal discharge. A vaginal yeast infection affects your vagina and the tissues at the opening to your vagina (vulva). So endeavor to change your sets of panties and bra always at least once in three months.

Vaginal yeast infection also called vaginal candidiasis is very common. As many as 3 out of 4 women experience a yeast infection at some point in their lifetimes. Many women experience two or more yeast infections.

A vaginal yeast infection isn’t considered a sexually transmitted infection, although the fungus that causes the condition can be spread through oral-genital contact.

Symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infection:

Yeast infection symptoms can range from mild to moderate and include;

  1. Itching and irritation in the vagina and at the entrance to the vagina (vulva).
  2. A burning sensation, especially during intercourse or while urinating.
  3. Redness and swelling of the vulva.
  4. Vaginal pain and soreness.
  5. Thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge with a cottage cheese appearance.

Causes of Vaginal Yeast Infection:

A vaginal yeast infection is caused by the fungus candida. Candida is a micro-organism that’s normally present in your vagina, along with bacteria.

Your vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast and bacteria. Lactobacillus bacteria produce acid, which discourages overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. But disruption of the healthy balance can result in an overgrowth of yeast. Too much yeast in your vagina can lead to vaginal itching, burning, and other classic signs and symptoms of a yeast infection.

Basic Preventive Tips:

  1. Drink plenty water everyday so as to wash bacteria and infections out of your body.
  2. Take your bath at least 2 times everyday especially when you’re  menstruating.
  3. Always wash your vagina after sex to avoid odor.
  4. Don’t wash your vagina with any kind of soap. Clean water alone is enough.
  5. Always shave your armpits and pubic hairs 
  6. As a lady, take lots of yogurts and pineapple as it helps in making the vagina healthy.
  7. Use good pads during menstruation and change it when it is full
  8. Endeavor ti change your panties and bra at least in every three months

How To Effectively Treat Sore Throat At Home

At one point or the other in our life, we often encounter pains, scratchiness or irritation of the throat. This gets worsen when we try to swallow food. Sore throat is commonly caused by viral infection-cold, flu etc. Sore throat as a result of viral infection, often heals on its own.

Meanwhile, Strep throat, a less common type of sore throat caused by bacteria, requires treatment with antibiotics to prevent complications. And other less common causes of sore throat might require more complex treatment.

RELATED:Benefits of Drinking Water Very Early In The Morning

Sore throat develops different symptoms like:

  • Pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat
  • Pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sore, swollen glands in your neck or jaw
  • Swollen, red tonsils
  • White patches or pus on your tonsils
  • A hoarse or muffled voice

Here are some methods you can apply to get rid of sore throat quickly:

1.Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated is an important part of treating a sore throat. When you’re dehydrated, your body can’t produce enough saliva and mucus to keep your throat naturally lubricated. This will make the swelling and inflammation worse. Clean water is a good choice, as are warm teas.

2. Get a Steam Shower: Breathe in the steam from a warm shower to help reduce swelling and ease the pain of a sore throat. You can also create steam by running very hot water into a sink. Drape a towel over your head and lean into the sink to breathe in the steam. Keep taking deep breaths for several minutes, and repeat as necessary to ease your sore throat.

3. Raise Your Head: When congestion comes with your sore throat, prop an extra pillow or two under your head. The extra height will help you breathe easier. With your congestion relieved, you won’t have to sleep with your mouth open, which can dry out your throat and cause it to hurt even more.

RELATED: How Best To Handle Stomach Ulcer…

4. Gargle warm Salt water: Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a scratchy throat. The salt pulls the mucus out of your swollen, inflamed tissue and helps relieve the discomfort. Combine 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of table salt with 4 to 8 ounces of warm water. Stir until the salt dissolves. Then gargle with it for several seconds and spit it out. Repeat the salt gargle several times each day.

Prevention is very important against treatment. It is important to take certain prevention methods for a healthy well being. Some of these prevention includes:

  • Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilet, before eating, and after sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid sharing food, drinking glasses or utensils.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw it away. When necessary, sneeze into your elbow.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers as an alternative to washing hands when soap and water aren’t available.
  • Avoid touching public phones or drinking fountains with your mouth.
  • Regularly clean telephones, TV remotes and computer keyboards with sanitizing cleanser. When you travel, clean phones and remotes in your hotel room.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Since sore throat is caused by germs, these measures stated above if adhered to can help prevent sore throat and other germ related sicknesses.

Side Effects of Postinor-2 Contraceptive: The Risks Involved

Over the years, the increased rate of unprotected sex has seen to the increase of contraceptive consumption. This regrettably, is carried out ignorantly by teenage girls, ladies etc without any medical recommendation by a Doctor or health experts.

Postinor-2 is used to prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. It is estimated to prevent 85% of expected pregnancies. 95% of expected pregnancies will be prevented if taken within the first 24 hours, declining to 58% if taken between 48 hours and 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. It is an emergency contraceptive only.

Postinor-2 is not intended as a regular method of contraception. It is not known whether Postinor-2 is effective if taken more than 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.

Side Effects of Postinor-2

  1. Tiredness
  2. Nausea and vomiting. S
  3. tomach pain
  4. Diarrhoea
  5. Dizziness
  6. Headache
  7. Tender breasts
  8. Increased vaginal bleeding and skin reactions.
  9. Miscarriage
  10. Womb Damage
  11. Inability to get pregnant again
  12. Taking a fake pill can cause unnecessary bleeding, breast cancer, liver diseases, delay in the next menstrual period and vomiting.
  13. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients.

Postinor-2 will not prevent you from contacting sexually transmitted diseases.

Health Effects of Abortion

Abortion could simply be described as a termination of pregnancy. The procedure involved is terminating the pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus.

Many countries and governments has discouraged Abortion by implementing strict bills and laws against it. However, some countries allow Abortion, giving legal backing to termination of unwanted pregnancies.

There are side effects on induced abortion whether is be a surgical or pill abortion. These side effects includes nausea, Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping etc.

Abortion carries a greater risk of complications as infections, damage to organs, bleeding ceaselessly, even death. These serious complications occur in less than 1 out of 100 early abortions and in about 1 out of 50 later abortions.

Abortion Complications include one or more of these:

  • Heavy Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Perforation of the Uterus
  • Damage to Internal Organs
  • Incomplete Abortion
  • Damage to the Cervix
  • Scarring of the Uterine Lining
  • Consider Other Risks of Abortion
  • Abortion and Preterm Birth for future pregnancies
  • Links to Abortion and Breast Cancer
  • Death

Apart from the health risks involved with Abortion, it also has a teaming psychological and emotional effects. Abortion is associated with a high decrease in both emotional and physical health. These negative emotions may be very strong and can appear with days or after many years. These psychological response is a form of Post-traumatic stress disorder which includes:

  • Eating disorders
  • Loss of appetite
  • loss of weight
  • Relationship problems
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Flashbacks of abortion
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Spiritual Consequences

Abortion as a consequence of unprotected sex can be avoided. These listed effects above are worth not experiencing. The long lasting guilt, suicidal thoughts, depression, and even spiritual consequences.

Maintain a healthy living. Protect you future!

Controversial Issues About Appendix Corrected

In the last century, in some countries, all children have been forcibly removed appendages to avoid appendicitis in the future.

In the past, the appendix was often routinely removed and discarded during other abdominal surgeries to prevent any possibility of a later attack of appendicitis.

The appendix is now spared in case it is needed later for reconstructive surgery if the urinary bladder is removed. In such surgery, a section of the intestine is formed into a replacement bladder, and the appendix is used to re-create a ‘sphincter muscle’ so that the patient remains continent (able to retain urine). Only recently, it has come to light that the appendix is not a rudiment. It plays an important role in the human immune system, being a sort of shelter for microorganisms. When natural flora perishes in the intestine as a result of illness, it becomes “reinforced” by the appendix.

On the other hand, today’s medicine allows to restore the flora of the intestines with the drugs, so this function of the appendix becomes apparently “insignificant.”In addition, the appendix has been successfully fashioned into a makeshift replacement for a diseased ureter, allowing urine to flow from the kidneys to the bladder.

As a result, the appendix, once regarded as a nonfunctional tissue, is now regarded as an important ‘back-up’ that can be used in a variety of reconstructive surgical techniques. It is no longer routinely removed and discarded if it is healthy.

6 Interesting Facts about Your Penis You Dont Know.

6 Things You Don’t Know About Your Penis


Your penis or lets say generally penises are born ready,

it is even common for babies to exist the womb with an erection, even before the moment of birth,

even ultrasounds scan shows a festus with a fully formed erection.


Most men likily have 3-5 erections every single night and likily have erection when woken from bed.

But if a man has difficulties achieving an erection when awake but becomes erect when you sleep,

it is an indication that there is a psychological issue, rather than a physical one. However, if he does not get erections during sleep, then the issue may be physical.


Our penises are longer than they look, infact around half of its entire length is housed inside of our bodies and remains connected to the rest of your anatomy, so its probably best it stays put inside.


Lets say 25% of men have very little control over exactly when they ejaculate, this is partly because it does not involve the brain. The signal to ejaculate comes from the spinal ejaculation generator.


There is no correlation between the length of a flaccid penis and its erect size, some.

Starts small and end up large (a grower), while some are large when flaccid and only grow a little when erect (a show-er).

While some are even small whatever state they are in, and some are larger when flaccid and get much larger, its really a mixed bag.


Death erection also called angel lust or teeminal erection, it happens in the moments aftet death, and most commonly death cases are gunshots wound to the head, death by hanging, damage to major blood vessels and poisoning, gives final erection due to pressure from the noose on the cerebellum.

What to Know About Sex During Pregnancy and When to Avoid Sex

What to Know about Sex During Pregnancy and When to Avoid Sex….

1. Is it Safe to have Sex while Pregnant?

2. Benefits of Sex During Pregnancy

3. Best Positions

4. When to Avoid Sex

Here are the things we will be discusing today, so starting from the first:


It’s 100% safe for a pregnant woman to continue having sex throughout her pregnancy period unless her Doctor or Midwife says otherwise….

Sex will not harm the baby because the baby is protected by strong uterus muscles, amniotic fluid, and a mucus plug that develops around the cervix, therefore sexual activities can not damage the baby or increase the chance of a miscarriage nor induce early labour, unless the Doctor or Midwife says otherwise, will get to that.


Possible benefits of sex during pregnancy includes:

1. KEEPING FIT: Sex burns Calories and can help to keep both parners fit, kindof part of exercise.

2. BETTER ORGASMS: It inceeases blood flow to the genitals, which means an increase of more powerful orgasms for a pregnant woman.

3. HAPPINESS INCREASED/A BOOST TO THE IMMUNE SYSTEM: Orgasms realease endorphins which helps mother and baby to feel very happy and relaxed, and sex increases IgA which is an antibody that helps keep colds and other infections at bay.

4. BONDING BETWEEN PARTNERS: Sexual activities during pregnancy brings some couples more closer to each other.


A pregnant woman might feel more comfortable in positions where she can control the depth and speed of penetration.

So comfortable positions may include the pregnant woman being on top of her partner, side-by-side spooning or sitting at the edge of the bed etc…


A Doctor or Midwife may advise a woman to avoid sexual intercourse during her pregnancy period if she has experienced the following:

1. Pregnancy with Twins

2. A history of going into premature labour

3. Leaking amniotic fluid

4. Problems with the cervix that could increase the likelihood of miscarriage or early labour

5. Placentra previa

6. The water have broken, which may increase the risk of infection

7. Substantial blood loss or unexplained vaginal bleedings.

Please Stay Safe and Healthy

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9 Things You Can Do to Make It Easier to Have an Orgasm During Sex

So you’re in the middle of a crazy pleasurable bedroom session, and your partner is doing that amazing mouth move that’s bringing you closer to orgasm. But just when you think you’re almost there, something happens—thoughts about work hijack your brain, or you start worrying about how your butt looks. You try to get back to the brink, but your odds of an O fizzle out.

It’s not just you—almost every woman knows what it’s like to lose an orgasm during sex. A long list of things can cause it: anxiety, body image issues, too-high expectations, stress, and pressure you might be putting on yourself to climax within a certain time frame or via penetration alone, which most women don’t do anyway.

“Porn, and even mainstream films, make it seem like women are having orgasms left and right from penetration,” says Jessica Graham, a sex and meditation expert and author of Good Sex: Getting Off Without Checking Out. “In reality, only 25% of women climax from penetration alone, but that doesn’t keep women from feeling like a failure if they can’t come in that way.”

When you feel like there’s something wrong with the way you do (or don’t) orgasm, that’s going to hit your internal panic button. “This type of worry can inhibit or prevent orgasm because having an orgasm requires turning off one’s thinking brain and simply feeling,” says Laurie Mintz, PhD, author of Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters.

You might also be comparing your ability to hit that high note to the way your partner always climaxes. There’s a significant orgasm gap between men and women, which you’re probably aware of. While 95% of heterosexual men report usually or always having an O during a sexual encounter, only 65% of heterosexual women say the same, reported a recent study in Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Ignoring these factors and simply feeling is a lot easier said than done, though, especially when you’re naked and vulnerable in front of another human. These expert tips from sex educators, doctors, and psychologists will make it a lot easier to cross that finish line every time.

Get comfortable before you get naked

If you don’t feel safe and relaxed before rocking the sheets, it’ll be harder to get off. “Orgasms are about release, letting go, vulnerability,” says Marisol G. Westberg, PhD, a board-certified sexologist and sex educator in Portland, Oregon. So prior to taking off your clothes and starting the action, make sure you’re in the right mindset. “Create a safe space and don’t push yourself to be vulnerable,” says Westberg.

Maybe you want the lights on or off; perhaps you need to relax in a bubble bath first, or slow jams and candlelight are must-haves to get into that space. Before things really get going, “take a few minutes to relax your body and connect with yourself,” says Graham. “Set an intention to stay with your body during sex, and let go of the myth that there is a ‘right way’ to have sex or experience pleasure.”

Don’t make an orgasm your goal

It sounds counterintuitive, but focus on what’s actually happening in your body versus the outcome, advises Westberg. “Every time a thought comes to you during sex, find a feeling of pleasure in your body to focus on,” she suggests. “It can be as small as your heart beating faster, a warm feeling in your heart, or your thigh muscles relaxing.”

By doing that, you’ll get out of a mental space and tuned into a physical one. The more caught up you are in sexy physical feelings, the more relaxed you’ll be…and you’ll set the stage for an orgasm.

Accept any anxious thoughts

If panicky thoughts pop up in your head while your physical pleasure is building, don’t try to squash or ignore them. Instead, accept those thoughts without judging yourself, says Mintz, which will help them float out of your brain so you can get back to the bumping and grinding.

It’s all about practicing mindfulness. “An essential aspect of mindfulness is noticing anxious and distracting thoughts as they occur and then letting them go without judgment or further worry and simply bringing yourself back to your body again,” she says. Again, the more in the moment you can be, the more likely you are to see stars.

Make sure your partner isn’t pressuring you

Lost orgasms often happen when you have unrealistic expectations—particularly the belief that your partner expects you to climax in a specific way or within a certain time. “There are some partners who think it’s their fault you aren’t having an orgasm,” says Westberg. They might view your O as an accomplishment or a reflection on their skills, but that’s really not what it’s about.

Most people get this, but not all. “Talk to your partner; the more they can let go of those expectations and any insecurity, the less anxious you will feel and the more able you will be to tune into your body.” If they do have expectations and continue to see your orgasm as a sign of their bedroom skills, and this is putting pressure on you, you might want to consider getting a new partner.

Focus on your breathing

No need to get all tantric in the bedroom. But your breath is one of the most powerful tools you have to relax your body and increase sensation and arousal, says Xanet Pailet, a sex educator and author of Living an Orgasmic Life. “Deep breaths into the belly and pelvis activate the vagus nerve, which is connected to all of our organs, including the skin,” she explains.

When you’re anxious, you tense up and tend to hold your breath—not exactly a conducive state for letting go. (And remember, having an orgasm is all about getting to a place where you can be vulnerable enough to let go in front of your partner.) “The saying ‘the more you breathe, the more you feel’ is so true,” Pailet adds.

Masturbate more

Bringing yourself to orgasm and being aware of your body during your solo sessions can help you learn exactly which strokes and touches you need to get there. “Try mindful masturbation: The goal is not to have an orgasm, ­though it’s okay if you do,­ but to really get in touch with your body and pleasure,” says Graham.

Here’s how to do it: “You just set a timer for 15 minutes, sit or lie down in a cozy and comfortable position, and start to touch your body. Don’t go straight to the genitals, and put aside porn, toys, and any other props you normally use. Touch your face, breasts, arms, stomach, and legs. Try different pressures and strokes. Notice what your body responds to. Get curious about your pleasure. This is a great practice for learning to focus on the body, instead of the mind, during sex.” Once you’ve nailed it, share with your partner.

Slow things down

There’s nothing wrong with a quickie, but how fast women reach orgasm in porn and even in Hollywood movies (cough, every Fifty Shades installment) is hella misleading. “Most women need more of a warm up and much more external stimulation,” says Mintz. “Some sex therapists talk about a 20 minute rule—that is, you should fool around about 20 minutes before even touching one another’s genitals. And even after that, women need at least 20 minutes of clitoral stimulation to orgasm with a partner.”

Those are just averages; everyone is different, and a lot depends on when your last orgasm was. But give it a try: Take your time, and don’t rush all the little touches and sensations that can help you build up to that pleasure peak.

Get loud and active

No, you don’t have to pretend you’re auditioning for porn. But making some noise and moving around between the sheets can actually make you more likely to arrive at orgasmville. “Sound and movement, especially of the hips and pelvis, also helps to move sexual energy around the body so that your orgasmic energy isn’t just stuck in the genitals but has a place to go,” says Pailet.

That might sound a little crazy, but think about it: The more comfortable you are with someone, the more relaxed you are. And if you’re comfortable enough with your partner to moan, cry out, talk dirty, and even laugh, than your O is right there on the horizon.

If it doesn’t happen, don’t worry

Sex is supposed to be fun. Even if you don’t orgasm, the whole experience should feel good and bring you closer to your partner. So you didn’t climax? Okay, maybe it’ll happen next time. But don’t obsess over it. “This will only exacerbate your anxiety and make you feel worse—and diminish the fact that the sexual encounter may have been exciting and made you two feel super connected, even without an orgasm, says Mintz.

Tokophobia Is the Very Real Fear of Giving Birth–and It Stops Some Women From Ever Getting Pregnant

When Marisa Kelley Smith was 12, she watched her adopted brother being born. “It was a traumatic birth with a lot of screaming, and they needed to use the vacuum to get him out,” she says. After that, Smith remembers avoiding holding babies as a teen. She resisted having a serious relationship until her early 20s. And when she was married, Smith, now 32 and living in Utah County, Utah, put off trying to get pregnant until one day her husband asked her what she was waiting for. “I blurted out: I’m afraid of giving birth! That was the first time I’d ever verbalized it,” she says.

If you’re pregnant, it’s natural to have worries about the birth. There are so many unknowns, everyone’s heard horror stories, and the way fellow moms describe the pain—well, let’s just say the epidural was invented for a reason. But some women have tokophobia, a psychological condition involving a paralyzing fear of giving birth.

Tokophobia characteristics

A 2016 study from the University of Michigan explored the fear of childbirth in a 22-woman focus group. The women in the study expressed fear about complications during birth, something happening to the baby, and the pain associated with delivery. They were also fearful of their clinicians and the maternal care system in general, including decisions being made for them or C-sections being pushed on them (one reason why some women may opt for a homebirth).

These feelings aren’t something to be brushed aside or told you’ll get over. Women who have these fears are more likely to have obstetric complications, the study authors said. One problem the women raised in the study is that appointments are so rushed, they didn’t have time to express their fears—so there was no opportunity for them to be resolved.

“In general, physicians have not readily detected tokophobia because they are not trained to identify it. Fortunately, today there is a greater awareness of perinatal mental health issues, including anxiety and depression,” says Amy Wenzel, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Perinatal Distress. “It’s completely normal and very common for women to be nervous about childbirth. Just because you are doesn’t mean you have a phobia. In my research and clinical experience, most people are a bit nervous about childbirth, especially if they haven’t gone though it before,” she says.

Tokophobia causes and symptoms

What separates a woman from having typical jitters and true tokophobia (which, it’s important to note, Wenzel says, is rare) is how the fear of pregnancy affects the ability to function. Some women may put off family planning because of an internalized fear. Others may go to great lengths to not get pregnant. When pregnant, these women may avoid going to OB appointments, something that can put their and their baby’s health at risk. Or, they may not sleep or have a difficult time meeting work or home obligations, Wenzel says.

Usually, tokophobia is caused by some type of disturbing experience surrounding pregnancy. There are thought to be two types: Primary tokophobia is the result of viewing disturbing images of a birth or witnessing someone else giving birth; a woman with primary tokophobia has never given birth herself. (Primary tokophobia is also sometimes a result of sexual assault or anxiety disorders.) Secondary tokophobia occurs when a woman develops a fear of delivery after going through a traumatic birthing experience herself, although increasingly, experts say, these women may more accurately have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Alexia Leachman, 44, knows this all too well. While many women rejoice after getting a positive on a home pregnancy test, “I felt as if I was kicked in the stomach. The days and weeks that followed, I was wrapped in a cloud of darkness and fear,” she says. Early on in the pregnancy, she discovered she had a miscarriage. “I felt relief. I knew that wasn’t normal,” says Leachman. The following year, then 36 years old, she was pregnant again.

It was then that she did a lot of internal work to figure out exactly what she was afraid of: the pain. Knowing she could have a C-section was comforting, but she eventually learned a technique called hypnobirth, something that would help her stay calm throughout contractions to lessen the pain. By the end of her pregnancy, she says she was one of the most chill pregnant women around.

It wasn’t until later that Leachman realized that her intense anxiety surrounding birth was tokophobia. Leachman runs the UK website Fear Free Childbirth in hopes of sharing her struggles and helping women who want families to overcome the fear standing in their way. Today, she has two girls, ages 8 and 14.

Tokophobia help and treatment

Whether you think you have tokophobia or a general fear of birth, you’d be well-served to speak with a professional, whether that’s your OB or a therapist. (And if you feel your OB isn’t giving you the time of day despite your attempts to talk, you may want to consider switching doctors—even within the same practice—depending on how far along you are.)

Wenzel, an expert in cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT), says that treating any phobia, including tokophobia, is facing—rather than avoiding—fear and anxiety and developing tools to help you tolerate and accept anxiety, risk, and threat. There is a lot of uncertainty associated with birth, says Wenzel. “Negative outcomes do, indeed, occur. Thus, therapists should not try to convince women that everything will be OK, but instead to accept and tolerate the risk that is associated with childbirth,” she says.

Then, there’s exposure, which can really get women over the fear hump. Watching videos of childbirth, talking to other women about their birth stories, or writing your own narrative of how you expect the birth to go are just a few strategies that a therapist might encourage. “One way that exposure works is facilitating habituation, or the emotional and physiological adaptation to anxiety,” says Wenzel. New learning comes when someone realizes that they can tolerate anxiety—and they realize it won’t be as bad as they thought it would be.

Wenzel recalls an especially private patient who was losing sleep over the thought of spreading her legs and exposing her genitalia during childbirth to the doctors, nurses, and even her husband. She eventually concluded that she needed to let it go and roll with it. “She recognized doctors and nurses see this stuff every day, and she was fine,” Wenzel says.

For Smith, who is now looking to have children, what helped her was joining a tokophobia support group on Facebook, finding a female therapist specializing in women’s issues, and learning that with a therapist’s recommendation, she could request an elective C-section. “The idea of birth is still terrifying to me, but it’s doable,” she says. That said, Smith and her husband have been trying on and off for years to get pregnant. With no success–“I wonder if my anxiety has prevented it from happening,” she says–they’re in the process of adoption. But even though she’s got a handle on her fears, one thing is certain: “I will never be in the room for a birth again.”