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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Dandy Walker malformation recurrence

Question:  I sadly ended our pregnancy's at 20 weeks due to Dandy Walker. Why has this happened twice...??? We have no family history of this and we both healthy and young. V. (Australia)

Answer: It is important to be aware that Dandy Walker malformation recurrence is not rare. The quoted figure of risk of recurrence is 1-5%. That means, any woman who has had a baby affected by the condition has at least a 1 in 100 chance that it will happen again. That risk could be as high as 1 in 20. In fact that is not even the whole story.  A proportion of Dandy Walker malformation cases are due to a type of genetic disorder that puts the risk of recurrence significantly higher at 1 in 4 (25%). This type is relatively rare. In reference to your question about your general health and youth, in fact neither of those factors (age and general health) have any bearing on the risk for this condition. Dandy Walker is a complex condition with noted variation in underlying genetic or chromosomal disorder. It can, therefore, be quite difficult to pin down and certainly impossible to offer a test for parents to check on their risk of having an affected baby. Apart from genetic factors, other risk factors include use of warfarin in the first trimester of pregnancy and exposure to infections such as Rubella, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Toxoplasmosis. You may also be interested in the answer to a fairly similar question we received before which you can find here: I hope everything works out well for you in the future.

Sex during pregnancy

Question:  Is it good 2 have sex when pregnant? N. (Kuwait)

Answer: There is usually no problem with having sexual intercourse during pregnancy. That advice covers the entire duration of pregnancy, from right after conception to the eve of labour onset. Sex cannot do any harm to the baby or adversely affect the pregnancy in any way. Rare exceptions to this advice are situations where there is a suspected or confirmed low-lying placenta covering the cervical opening (major placenta praevia). Penetrative intercourse in this situation can provoke haemorrhage with a risk of putting the pregnancy in peril.

Ultrasound scan during menstruation

Question:  I am having my menses right now. Can i visit the doctor for ultrasound during such days?? S. (India)

Answer: It really depends on what you are having the scan for. Technically, there is no problem with doing the test when a woman is menstruating. However,  even though you may not mind, the person performing the test may not be too keen to do with when there is active vaginal bleeding especially if it is going to involve a transvaginal approach.

Sports after pregnancy

Question:  Sports after pregnancy. S.T.

Answer: Your question is far too brief for me to know what you actually want to know. If you are asking whether it is safe to engage in sports after pregnancy, the answer is definitely yes. We have, in fact, covered this ‘Sports and exercise after pregnancy’ in a dedicated section. Just click to get there.

‘Slightly’ increased liquor; 36 weeks gestation

Question: I am approximate gestational age 35 to 36 weeks pregnant lady, I will done by a obstetric scan with colour Doppler in the scanning report is liquor volume is slightly increased,so you please explain the causing problems for delivery and what are the remedies,this problem any to causing my baby please answered me immediately? P. (India)

Answer: Your original question centered on your worry about reduced fetal movements. The tests you have had done appear to give a reassuring picture. You have not said but presumably the Doppler scan showed normal blood flow in the umbilical cord. The fact that the liquor volume was not found to be reduced would suggest that the placental function is not compromised. If the baby’s movement remain low, you may need to have these test repeated weekly or so if the doctors think this is necessary.

Your doctors will then advise you if there is any need for inducing labour at any point. Try not to worry too much. As long as the tests are being done to monitor fetal wellbeing and the results are normal, try not to get yourself too stressed.

Cervical cancer vaccine with active tonsillitis

Question:  My daughter is due her cancer jab on wed but has been on penicillin for the last week as she has had tonsilitis. How safe is it for her to get the jab still being ill. D.D. (UK)

Answer: I have taken the liberty of assuming that by ‘cancer jab’ you are referring to the vaccine against cervical cancer.

As is the case with all forms of vaccination, this is usually not advised if an individual has a fever or any other clinical features of possible active infection. There is no direct relationship. However, the administration of a vaccine can cloud the clinical picture and it is therefore prudent to wait until the acute infection has cleared before giving the vaccine. The school nurse will, hopefully, be on hand to give the appropriate advice on the basis of your daughter’s condition at the material time.

Fundal height measuring smaller

Question:  I am 31+4 today and my fundal measurement is 29cm. My midwife told that baby is small and she call me after week then if she will still think that baby is growing slowly she will refer me to hospital. I just want to know that what is the normal measurement of baby at this stage its my first pregnancy and what i can do to make my baby grow faster or on normal rate as of other pregnancies. She also told me that now my iron level has dropped and it is 10.4 now and recommend me iron tab twice a day. Could you please tell me more why baby is showing slow growth. What can be the possible factors causing this and what are the steps i should take to make this situation good and tell me is it an alarming condition. I want your reply to clear my doubts. I will be very thankful to you for this. J.M. (UK)

Answer: Fundal measurements are a useful guide to fetal growth in the womb but they are not failsafe. As a rule of thumb, in the third trimester (after 28 weeks), measurements are expected to be equivalent to the number of weeks but with an allowance of two centimetres either way. That means, if a pregnancy was 30 weeks, a measurement of 28cm will be regarded as normal. Likewise, a measurement of 32cm will still be normal, so will any measurement  within that range (28-32cm). What is regarded to be more important is the rate of growth. If for instance, a woman was 30 weeks and the fundal height measured 31 cm, that will be normal. However, if the measurement was still 31cm three weeks later (at 33 weeks), even though still within the normal range, that will be a cause for concern. That is because there would have been  no recorded growth in that period. It may not necessarily mean there is a problem but it will be a legitimate reason to institute closer monitoring of the baby.

As for your specific case, the one set of measurements you have given does not necessarily suggest reduced growth for your baby as they fall within the normal range for the gestation. Your midwife is planning to see you again presumably to check the rate of growth. This will clarify the picture for you and hopefully the findings will be reassuring. There are no special measures to take in ensuring good fetal growth other than ensuring a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and avoiding habits like smoking. My best wishes.