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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Gender selection

Question:  How much is the cost for the boy selection. Is it possible in India? A. (India)


Answer: You are asking about the monetary cost of making a gender selection, presumably when the prospective mother is trying to conceive through assisted conception (IVF). The simple answer is I don’t know. There is, of course the bigger question of the ethics of this practise in the absence of a medical indication. There is also the legality of this but, clearly, this will vary depending on which country you happen to be in. That brings me to your last question. I would not know whether such a practise is available or even legal in India. You need to find this information from the relevant authorities.



Postnatal psychosis and future mental health of child

Question:  Hello, i would like to know please if there is any link from a mother having postnatal psychosis, and this affecting the newborn mentally, e.g. manic depression? S.M. (UK)


Answer:  There is no direct link between maternal postnatal psychosis and future mental health problems for the child. In other words, children of mothers affected by postnatal psychosis are at no more risk of developing mental health disorders than their peers. Postnatal psychosis, also known as puerperal psychosis, affects 1 - 2 per 1000 mothers (0.1 - 0.2%). It is indeed true that the very nature and timing of the condition does adversely affect the mother-child bonding and, as such, these infants tend to be more prone to early behavioural problems such as temper tantrums, hyperactivity and eating difficulties. This is also seen with children of mothers affected by postnatal depression, which is, of-course, a different condition. However, there is no evidence of these children being more prone to mental illnesses later in life.



Low lying placenta and sex/masturbation

Question:  Hi, I’m 17 weeks pregnant, in the 12th week scan i was diagnosed with placenta previa partially covering the os. Is it serious?  Is it ok if i masturbate? I have habit of crossing my right leg over the left while doing so, would it affect my baby or my condition ? plz help . C. (India)


Answer: First things first: it is actually incorrect to label a low-lying placenta at such an early stage of pregnancy as ‘placenta praevia’. If the doctor described it as such, that is, unfortunately, misleading. Many placentas will be low lying at that stage, and even later on, at 20 weeks, a substantial proportion are still low lying. Technically, you cannot talk of placenta praevia until the pregnancy has entered the third trimester. Before that, you take note of the fact but it should not be regarded as an abnormality or even a risk factor. It is therefore perfectly OK for you to have sex or masturbate with these findings. The actions will not pose any risk to your pregnancy.



X chromosomes

Question:  What are x chromosomes? J.J. (UK)


Answer: Every characteristic that a child is born with is determined by a gene. The colour of your eyes, how bushy your eyebrows are, the length of your fingers, the creases in your palm and every tiny detail on the body is determined by a specific gene. These genes are carried in strands of proteins called chromosomes which are found in every cell of your body. Each species has a specific number of chromosomes. A dog has 78 chromosomes; a horse has 64. Human beings like me and you have 23 pairs of chromosomes, meaning we have 46 chromosomes in each cell. Of the 46 chromosomes, two are what are known as ‘sex chromosomes’. The sex chromosomes are what determine whether one is a boy or a girl. For a boy, there is one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. A girl does not have a Y chromosome. Instead, she has two X chromosomes. In summary, an X chromosome is a sex chromosome; girls have two of these and boys have one, as detailed above.




Repeat ‘viral’ infections in pregnancy

Question:  Hi, I am 21 weeks pregnant with my first baby. First 3 months i was fine and was in good health apart from a back ache. My 12 week ultrasound scan was fine.


At 13 week i had shingles which my doctor said fine and was given Acyclovir, the anti viral. After that Around 17 week i had a chest infection for which i was given Amoxicillin 500mg 3 times a day for 7 days and ventolin evohaler 100 micrograms.Then i was fine.


Then again around 19 week i had sore throat,tonsils, congested nose, coughing etc., After 2 or 3 days my left eye started to get red and infected as well and i had aching pain in my left ear.

When i see the doctor he said it must be a Viral Infection because just after having Amoxicillin i can’t have again bacterial infection and was given Benzydamine Hydrochloride Oral rinse to gargle my throat and antibiotic to take if only i had temperature. But i did not have any temperature running so i didn’t took it.


Now I’m feeling bit better.My eyes are fine, tonsils ok, nasal congestion gone.But still my left ear is having continuous buzzing noise and my right ear also is bit painful. Worst of all my Lymph glands in the neck is swollen and i can’t swallow any thing apart from liquids coz it’s soo painful. i went to the doctor today he said i have an ulcer in my throat which is definitely a sign of a Viral infection, that’s why my Lymph nodes are swollen and my ear drums swollen as well but no pus. So i was gain given the same Oral rinse to use.


My question is; can this Viral Infection have any effect on my baby? Is it harmful as other Virus Infections? Also is there any side effects of the medicines i have been taken? Please be kind enough to let me know as I’m feeling bit depressed why I’m been sick this much. Thanking you. K. (UK)


Answer:  You have clearly had a tough first half of your pregnancy.  I can reassure you, however, that the medications you have used so far (Amoxicillin, Acyclovir, Ventolin and Benzydamine oral rinse) are all safe to use in pregnancy. There should be no concern at all on that front. The shingles you had was, of course, a re-activation of a chicken-pox infection you had in the past, most probably in childhood. Shingles is always that and is never a new infection. Shingles therefore does not pose any risk to the baby in the womb. With regard to the ongoing problem with the pain in your throat with painful swallowing and pain and buzzing in your ear, that is something that I feel need to be dealt with more aggressively. I really would not be so sure that this is a sign of a viral infection. If indeed there is an ulcer on your throat I think this needs to be brought to the attention of the appropriate specialist. I would advise you to contact your midwife to request seeing your obstetrician at the hospital. The obstetrician will then assess the situation and decide whether an input of an ENT specialist or a microbiologist (or both) is necessary. I hope this resolves soon for you.