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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub


Question:  What is superfetation and how does it come about? K.L. (S.Africa)

Answer: Superfetation is an extremely rare occurrence whereby a woman who is already pregnant conceives again thereby ending up with what appears to be a ‘twin pregnancy’ but in fact it is not. She is in fact carrying two pregnancies of different gestation simultaneously.  Superfetation results from ovulation taking place when a woman is already pregnant. Such an occurrence is quite rare. In fact, less than a dozen cases of superfetation have ever been reported in history. How ovulation happens during pregnancy is difficult to explain biologically and remains a mystery.

Controlling blood sugar in pregnancy

Question:  I am 42 yrs and am pregnant with 7 months. my sugar level was controlled but now my fasting is 115 and pp 125. my doctors say i will deliver by april end. is it fine. any harm to baby in this. Will I’ve a normal delivery or ceserian? Pls advise. V. (India)

Answer: You have not said whether yours is pre-existing diabetes or whether it started during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). Strictly speaking, both your fasting and post-prandial (after food) blood glucose levels are within the normal range. In an ideal world, the fasting level should remain between 70 and 100mg/dl (or in metric measurements 3.9-5.5mmol/l). A post-prandial level of 125mg/dl (6.9mmol/l) is certainly normal and no cause for concern. All in all, these results are satisfactory. However, if you are on insulin, your dose may need to be adjusted to try to bring down the fasting blood glucose level. It is important that the blood sugar is checked regularly, ideally daily, to ensure that fluctuations are discovered in time and necessary measures taken. For those on insulin, especially if they have pre-existing rather than gestational diabetes, delivery is usually carried out at 38-39 weeks gestation. Mode of delivery is determined by the usual obstetric parameters and,all else being well, you may be offered an induction of labour. If there are other concerns such as a breech presentation or a very big baby, then a caesarean may be considered. Best wishes.

Trying to conceive

Question: I have been trying to conceive for the last 6 months but i have failed. i don’t know how to detect fertile days. Please help me. For instance, i started my periods on 14th march and am likely to stop on 18th march; what will be my fertile days? E.M. (Uganda)

Answer: There is one vital piece of information missing from your details and that is the average length of your cycle. Were I to assume that yours averages 28 days, give or take a couple of days, then your most fertile period would be from Day 11 through to Day 17. In the month of March where your dates are quoted, (taking the 14th of March to be Day 1), that fertile period will fall on the 24th of March running through to the 30th. However, if your cycles tend to be shorter or longer, your fertile phase will need to be adjusted accordingly; coming earlier if you tend to have short cycles and coming later if your cycles are longer. To maximise the chances of a successful conception, you will need to have sex every day (or night) in that fertile phase. There are no guarantees, however, that gives you the best shot. You can also look at the answer we gave to a similar question here, complete with an illustration. Can I also add that six months may seem very long when you are keen to conceive but, in fact, it is not unusual for conception not to occur in that time so do not despair. My best wishes.

I have pregnancy symptoms

Question:  I have been feeling sign of pregnancy since January and i saw my menses last month (February) and up till this moment i am writing i still feel the sign of pregnancy, is it possible? Thank you for your usual response. J. (Nigeria)

Answer: If the period you had in February (last month) was similar to your usual periods then it is exceedingly unlikely that you are pregnant. Sometimes you can experience the rather non-specific ‘pregnancy’ symptoms such as nausea, feeling lethargic and breast fullness and tenderness without being actually pregnant. That can be due to transient hormonal changes. If you are very concerned then the only way you are going to be sure is to do a pregnancy test. However, the impression I’m getting from your details  is that pregnancy is unlikely.

Missed period, negative pregnancy test.

Question:  My period is nearly a month late and i am not pregnant. i have been to my own gp and got blood tests for thyroid and things done all came back normal and had a smear done which was normal as well. Any ideas to why it may be late as it has never been late before. A. (UK)

Answer: Since the late or missed period is out of keeping with your norm, your doctor was right in checking for possible thyroid problems. It may be worthwhile to check for raised prolactin hormone if this has not been done yet.

This hormone (prolactin) is produced in the brain and is usually raised when pregnant or breast feeding. However, sometimes the production can be increased at other times leading to suppression of periods. You can also miss your period as a result of a rapid change in your weight (either way) or if you embark on sustained physical exercises. Also sustained stressful situations such as preparing for an exam etc can lead to missed periods. Since all these situations are normally temporary, things get back to normal once they have resolved. If all the above don’t apply to you and if the period does not arrive again this month, you should contact your GP for further tests.

Hypertension in pregnancy

Question:  The effects of hypertension in pregnancy and its maintenance. S.A. (Ghana)

Answer: You have asked a question that is, in fact, a rather broad subject. However, help is at hand. We have a whole chapter dedicated to this very subject. Click here to get there.