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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Calculating gestation

Question:  I last had my period beginning 18-21 august 2010, i tested for pregnancy and was positive. How old is my pregnancy? T.M.

Answer: If your cycles are regular, averaging 4 weeks, your due date is Wednesday the 25th of May 2011. That puts your gestational age at 22 weeks (5 months) now. Remember, less than 5% of all pregnant mothers can expect to deliver exactly on their calculated due date. You can always use our handy pregnancy calculator which is found here:

Pain in the lower abdomen; 18 weeks pregnant

Question:  I am 18 weeks pregnant and i have started to get sharp pain below my abdomen just above my pelvis . what can this be? C. (Ireland)

Answer:  This will, inevitably, involve some element of guessing. To be able to make an accurate diagnosis, at the very least an examination is required. With that caveat in mind, this could be a lower urinary tract infection since that is the location of the bladder. Another possibility could be onset of the condition called SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction). The latter is probably unlikely because it is rare for it to start this early in pregnancy. Plus, the SPD pain is typically associated with movements such as walking, climbing stairs, turning over in bed etc.

Baby has a different complexion

Question:  My daughter is 1 month old, I am fair looking but my daughter is dark colour and very slim,always my baby is crying,that time i prefer to breast feeding but her health condition does not improve. Please help me for body colour will turn to fair and  will her  health condition improve? P. (India)

Answer: You have asked about two different issues here. You appear to be unhappy due to the fact that your baby daughter has a darker skin complexion compared to you. It is very important for you to accept and love your daughter as she is. Skin complexion is genetically determined. That could be inherited from either parent and could also be a combination of the two. It will be particularly sad if your love for your daughter was in any way negatively influenced by her skin complexion. It is unlikely that the complexion will change but that should not really be an issue for a mother. I hope you can get past this kind of thinking about your own child.

With regard to her weight and the crying, you need to assess whether she is getting enough feeding. If you are not producing enough milk or she is unable to feed properly for whatever reason, you need to seek appropriate help from a health professional to see what the problem is. At one month of age, the mother’s milk should be more than adequate without any need for supplements. If this is not happening, you need to find out why.

Yellow fever vaccination during pregnancy

Question:  I was vaccinated at 19 weeks of pregnancy for Yellow Fever. Will i deliver a baby with deformities? If so, can i terminate the pregnancy? T.M. (Kenya)

Answer: I am unsure why you were vaccinated whilst pregnant because the advice is very clear. This vaccine should be avoided in pregnancy. That question (whether you are pregnant) should be asked before any type of vaccine is administered to a woman in a child-bearing age. This is particularly the case with  those containing a live (weakened) virus which is the case with yellow fever vaccine. That is basic standard precaution. Whichever unit gave you the vaccine needs to review their practise. Having said all that, there is no evidence that a yellow fever vaccination in pregnancy leads to any adverse outcome or any increase in fetal malformations. The issue of pregnancy termination should therefore not arise.

Theme Park rides in early pregnancy

Question:  I am 8 weeks pregnant and would like to know if going on theme park rides will effect my pregnancy at this early stage? I've just read that placental abruption may be a risk but wondered if this was later on down the line? Many thanks. K.J. (UK)

Answer:  At risk of creating confusion in your mind, I have to tell you that, on their own, standard theme park rides do not pose any kind of risk to a pregnancy at any stage. The theoretical risk of placental abruption is not a direct one. It is based on the risk of trauma to a pregnant abdomen that can inadvertently occur from the restraints on some rides. The risk is theoretical as there is no evidence that this does actually happen. Whatever leisure activity you engage in during your pregnancy, common sense is all you need.

Chloroquine in the first trimester of pregnancy

Question:  Can i use chloroquine to treat malaria during the 1st trimester (5wks)? J. (Nigeria)

Answer: Chloroquine at a normal dose can be safely used at any stage of the pregnancy. What I am puzzled about is to why you are opting for chloroquine considering the widespread resistance to this and the availability of more effective alternatives.

Prostin and the cervix

Question:  How does Prostin help to the cervix? S (Saudi Arabia)

Answer: Prostin is a type of prostaglandin. Prostaglandins are the natural chemicals that are released at the end of pregnancy to prime the cervix making it soft, stretchy and therefore amenable to dilatation during labour to facilitate delivery. Prostin is therefore used to induce labour.