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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Sickle Cell trait individuals marrying each other

Question: Is it advisable for a male sickle cell trait carrier to get married to a female sickle cell trait carrier? I. (Nigeria)

Answer: What such individuals need to know is that, there is a 25% chance of each child  they have together having the full condition of Sickle Cell Disease. As long as they have all the facts, it is up to them to decide on whether the probabilities are acceptable to them.

Postcoital bleeding

Question:  I was having intercourse and i spotted during and when we got done it stopped its not time for my period could i be pregnant its only been 17 days since my last period. L. (USA)

Answer: Bleeding during and after intercourse has nothing to do with being pregnant. There is simply no connection. In most cases, this type of bleeding is of cervical origin and it is what is loosely called contact bleeding. If this happens to be a recurrent feature I would advise you to get this looked at by a doctor. In most cases, it is due to what is generally known as cervical erosion (ectropion), an entirely benign condition which is not uncommon. In other cases, postcoital spotting or bleeding could be due to simple inflammation of the cervix. In a few cases, the bleeding could be a symptom of something more significant requiring prioritized intervention. The issue of whether you might be pregnant is entirely separate. Seeing as you had sex on Day 17, assuming you have a regular 28-30 day cycle, that would still be in the general mid-cycle hence fertile period and you might have conceived. That, I have to stress again, will have nothing to do with the bleed you saw.

Induction of labour

Question: I am pregnant ,and am due on the 8th of October 2010. What is the meaning of induction of labour? B. (UK)

Answer: When labour does not start on its own or if for any reason the baby need to be delivered  and the preferred mode of delivery is vaginal, labour can be ‘artificially’ started. That is what induction of labour is. We have dedicated a whole section on this site on the subject of induction of labour. I would encourage you to go and have a read. You can reach it by clicking here:

Complications of labour induction

Question: What are the complications of induction of labour? M. (Kenya)

Answer: I am assuming you have had an opportunity to read around this topic of labour induction and the various methods used to induce labour. You would have learnt that in the main prostaglandins, in the form of vaginal gel or tablets are the most popular method of choice. Breaking waters (artificial rupture of membranes) is another method. Sometimes a combination of methods is employed. All these methods are quite safe and by and large free of significant complications. With prostaglandins, there could be abdominal pain as a problem for some women. With membrane rupture, in some situations, such as when there is excessive amniotic fluid, there is a risk of umbilical cord prolapse. If this was to occur, delivery will need to be done immediately. That means an emergency caesarean section. This complication is rare.

Lethargic in the morning

Question:  I am some weeks pregnant and i take seven seas pure code liver oil (HIGH STRENGTH) with OMEGA-3 Fish Oil & Vitamins D+E because i am usually weak and drowsy in the mornings then later in the day towards evening i regain back my strength.. Please i need your advice on what to do and what to take. Thanks. P.

Answer: Congratulations on your pregnancy. It sounds to me that the lethargy in the early part of the day is something you have had since before you conceived. The fact that you feel normal in the later part of the day is actually a good sign. In most cases it means there is unlikely to be anything serious underlying.

However, it is important that you have a proper medical evaluation to ensure nothing significant is being missed. It is essential, for instance, that an adrenal gland or thyroid problem is ruled out.You will therefore understand why I cannot just come out with a suggestion of what to take to deal with this.

I have to say the use of Vitamin supplements to deal with unexplained lethargy has no basis in science nor is there strong evidence that this works. What you are taking will not do any harm in your pregnancy but it is doubtful it will have the desired effect.

Recurrent placental abruption

Question:  Hello; I have had two placental abruptions. I sadly lost two boys by this. With me first I was seven months with me second I was six months.  I’m planing to have another baby. Will i be ok this time? could it be i can’t carry boys? What advice can you give me? C.S. (UK)

Answer: Placental abruption is a distressing pregnancy complication which, sadly, ends in loss of the baby in many cases. You are testament to this having gone through this experience twice. In fact, even the mother’s life could be in peril. Unfortunately, in many cases, it is difficult to know why it happens as there may be no identifiable risk factor. Where a risk factor is identifiable, especially if it is a factor where something can be done, that will be the strategy to minimise the risk of recurrence in a subsequent pregnancy. Issues like maternal smoking are within the woman’s control. Conditions like high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes are recognised risk factors and these, if present, will be treated aggressively to keep them well controlled. In the end, there is limited intervention that is possible. Whilst the risk of recurrence is relatively high at 25% following two abruptions, you should focus on the probability of a trouble-free pregnancy which is of-course 75%. Can I also point out that the gender of the children has nothing to do with the complication. The fact that both your children were boys is simply coincidence. You may also wish to see an answer we gave to an earlier similar question by clicking here:

Molar pregnancy and pregnancy test

Question:  Do you get a positive or negative pregnancy test result if you have a molar pregnancy? Thanks. J. (UK)

Answer: The pregnancy test will almost always be positive in a molar pregnancy. This is mainly because the levels of the pregnancy hormone beta-hCG are significantly higher in a molar pregnancy compared to a normal pregnancy at the same stage/gestation.