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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Am I pregnant?

Question:  My last period was on 17th of June; my cycle is regular (every 25-28 day), and every month there is painful menstruation ... but this month is different, I have nausea & vomiting; no abdominal cramps or back pain before the cycle ... and when menstruation start, it started on the 28th day (i.e. 15th of July)and it is not bleeding as usual, just brownish discharge (dark & light)... so my question is: Is it pregnancy??? Should I do the test or this is normal menstrual period???  Thanks a lot. M. (Saudi Arabia)

Answer: It is difficult for me to be sure one way or the other. On balance of probability, I am tempted to conclude that you are not pregnant. The reason why I am inclining on this side of the argument is that the bleeding, albeit different in character, has started on the day when your period was expected to arrive. In other words, you have not missed a period nor is it overdue. Your experience may be that all the periods tend to be the same in behaviour but many women experience a variation in the way the periods behave. This could be influenced by whether the person had ovulated or not in the preceding cycle. The fact that you have some symptoms that tend to be associated with early pregnancy mean that there is still a possibility you could be pregnant. If those symptoms (nausea and vomiting) are persisting then you will need to do a pregnancy test to get clarity.

Chantix and pregnancy

Question:   Im currently using chantix as I try to quit smoking. This is because my fiance and I are trying for a baby. Is it ok to use chantix if I get pregnant? P.F. (Mexico)

Answer: Chantix or Champix as is otherwise known is a very useful drug in Chantix in pregnancyefforts to give up smoking. The current advice is that it should not be used in pregnancy. There is evidence from animal studies that it may cause adverse effects to the fetus. I would therefore advise that, if you are actively trying to conceive now, you should stop using Chantix and get expert advice from your doctor on safer alternatives. It may boil down to non-pharmaceutical measures. If those don’t work for you, a less than perfect alternative may be to use Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) usually available in the form of skin patches. Not perfect but better than Chantix. The generic name of Chantix is Varenicline.

Using Sylk lubricant and trying to conceive

Question:  Because of vaginal dryness I’ve been using sylk lubricant during sex. We are also trying for a baby. I was wondering whether this could prevent conception or harm the baby? Thanks. T.D. (UK)

Answer: There is no known harm from sylk in that regard. This may be because it has not been specifically investigated for those particular issues. However, there are many anecdotal reports of successful conceptions by women who, due to similar problems as the ones you have, have had to use this lubricant during coitus on a regular basis.

Losing weight before conception

Question:    What do I need to do in order to lose weight before conceiving. I have got PCO and  the doctors are saying if I don’t lose weight I will not be able to conceive or end up with a miscarriage. I have tried exercise but it is not working. A. (UK)

Answer: I do feel for you. Losing weight when you have polycystic ovaries can prove daunting. However, you really do need to hang in there. What your doctors are saying is essentially correct. I would not go so far as to say you won’t be able to conceive. However, it is true that if you have polycystic ovaries (PCOS) and you are significantly overweight, that makes it very difficult to successfully conceive. It is also true that, even when you conceive, your risk of losing the pregnancy through miscarriage is higher than the general average. It is therefore in your best interest to do your utmost to lose weight.

The closer you can get to your ideal weight, the better for you. I cannot pretend to be in a position to advise you here on the specific things you need to do to be successful. That advice needs to be individualised and you should therefore try to get your doctor to refer you to appropriate specialists such as a dietitian.

Conception after a miscarriage

Question:  Just had a miscarriage and my doctor suggests i wait for 3 cycles before we try again for another child. Please what is your take on this, because i am really very eager to have another child. O. (Nigeria)

Answer: Can I just ask you a question if I may: Did you ask your doctor the rationale behind that advice to wait? Plus, why three cycles? Why not 2 or 6 for that matter? This is the ‘playing God practise of medicine’ which is long discredited. There is absolutely no reason for you to wait if, psychologically and emotionally you feel ready. When you get a period, you are likely to have resumed ovulating. That is your body telling you it is ready to carry a pregnancy. It is then up to you.  My best wishes.

Addendum: i was actually told to wait for three cycles before conception because according to the doctor my womb has been put under soo much stress as a result of the 2 miscarriages i had in quick succession, one in March and the other in June.

Answer: No disrespect to your doctor but there is no such thing as post-miscarriage womb stress, whatever the number or duration of intervals. The womb is fully capable of carrying a pregnancy a few weeks after even a full term pregnancy. First trimester miscarriages pose no more stress than a normal heavy period. There is absolutely no physiological reason why a womb shouldn’t carry a pregnancy in these circumstances. Resumption of a period means the womb is back to normal. In the end, you have got to do what you are comfortable doing. That advice you have been given has no basis in science.

Vaginal discharge in pregnancy

Question:    What  is the discharge from the vagina during pregnancy? Is that abnormal? M.M. (Ethiopia)

Answer: It can be difficult to give a definitive answer when a question has no details. I would have wanted to know more about the discharge. Whether it is watery or thick; its colour; whether it is blood-stained or not, whether it has any smell and, if so, if it is offensive. It would have been helpful too to know the stage of the pregnancy. As things stand I am not in a position to know whether the discharge you are inquiring about is normal or not. In many cases, a discharge, usually watery and non-offensive, is not abnormal in pregnancy. However, this is not always the case.