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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Can the womb re-generate?

Question: Can the womb that has been partially removed due to cancer in a 21 year old re-grow to enable the sufferer to go on to become pregnant and carry a foetus some years later? L.D.  (UK)

Answer: The short answer here is No. If part of the womb has been surgically removed, that cannot regenerate. However, we need to be careful here. It depends on exactly what part you are referring to. In some cases of early cancer of the neck of the womb (cervical cancer), it is possible to perform a fertility preserving operation called a trachelectomy. This is specifically aimed at preserving the woman’s fertility if that is what she wants. In trachelectomy, the removed part does not regenerate as such but the surgery is done in such a way that the preserved womb will be able to carry a pregnancy in future. Apart from that, I cannot see any other situation where surgery for cancer affecting the womb will allow future fertility. Having said all that, the type of cancers that affect the womb itself are exceedingly rare in women of that age group.  

Slight blood loss at 10 weeks gestation

Question:  I am 10 weeks and have had a little bit of dark bleeding, i just want to no how worried i should be. J (Australia)

Answer: If you have already had a booking ultrasound scan during this pregnancy and it was normal, this is most probably a false scare. If you have not had a scan, things are slightly more uncertain. Sometimes a pregnancy that is not viable can be symptom-less until towards the end of the first trimester, even beyond, when symptoms such as light painless bleeding start appearing. Regardless of all these assumptions my view is that, if there is bleeding, get a scan done for absolute clarity and, hopefully, peace of mind.

Fibroid and threatened miscarriage

Question:  I have been diagnosed with fibroid sizing about 64mm x 54mm, now I'm six weeks pregnant and beginning to see drops of blood. what do i do? O. (Nigeria)

Answer: The light bleeding you are having makes this a threatened miscarriage. As a rule of thumb, threatened miscarriage does not require any action on your part or intervention by doctors. There isn’t anything that anybody can do to influence things. The positive side of all this is that, the vast majority of cases resolve spontaneously on their own and the pregnancy carries on as normal. Regarding the fibroid, this may not be significant as far as this bleeding is concerned. Whilst that size is considerable, significance depends on its actual location in the womb. The influence of a large fibroid inside the womb cavity is mainly on mode of delivery rather than risk of miscarriage.

Occipito-posterior (OP) position

Question:  What are the underlying causes of an occipito posterior position? T.K. (Ethiopia)

Answer: Occipito-posterior position of the head refers to a situation where the baby’s head is facing forward with the face to the front during labour or delivery. This tends to prolong labour, make labour more painful, increase risk of requiring instrumental (forceps or ventouse) delivery and even caesarean section. It is therefore a less favourable position for delivery. There is no specific cause. Many such occurrences cannot be explained easily. In some cases, there is evidence of a narrow pelvis in proportion to the size of the head thereby impeding rotation of the head during labour. This is by no means the norm.

Sex and labour onset

Question:  Does sex induce labour?  S.P. (Sudan)

Answer: I would like to answer this question with a simple yes or no. But; it is not so simple. If you are inquiring whether having sex during any stage of late pregnancy can bring about labour onset, the answer is a firm No. You can have sex at any stage of pregnancy and this will have no impact, negative or positive, on the pregnancy. There are a few exceptions such as in cases of placenta praevia where penetrative intercourse can provoke bleeding. Can intercourse cause labour onset at term? The evidence to this effect is really quite weak and on balance one has to say, labour is unlikely to ensue as a direct result of sexual intercourse even after the woman is post-term. We have covered this subject in part here:

Pregnancy scan at 4-5 weeks

Question:  Is it possible for a scan not to detect a foetus at 4-5 weeks? M.N. (UK)

Answer: It is not possible to see anything in the womb at 4 weeks gestation using ultrasound scan. At 5 weeks gestation, if the woman is not overweight, a trans-abdominal scan will show a gestational sac, a fetal pole and the heartbeat. A trans-vaginal scan (so-called ‘internal’ scan)is much more sensitive at this stage and, even in a woman who is overweight, with a viable pregnancy, all the above will be seen. This is, if the dates are correct.

Preventing premature birth

Question:  What are the main things to do to prevent premature birth at the third trimester? L. (Albania)

Answer: You can’t really do anything to prevent labour onset even if this is pre-term. The only situations where you can influence labour onset is when the mother has a condition which predisposes to preterm labour and taking corrective measures against such a condition. Cocaine abuse is one such situation. A woman abusing cocaine is at high risk of preterm labour and delivery. Quitting will eliminate that risk.

Anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS) and conceiving

Question:   Is there any difficulty for a girl affected by anti phospholipid (APS) to get pregnant. L.C. (India)

Answer: Anti-phospholipid syndrome is typically associated with a high risk of miscarriage, which, without treatment will tend to be recurrent. There is usually no difficulty getting pregnant. The subject if anti-phospholipid syndrome is addressed in this section: