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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Overweight and keen to conceive

Question:  I am overweight and have previously had pregnancy complications but desperately wanting another baby . What shall i do? S. I. (UK)


Answer:  You have put me in a rather awkward position because your details are so brief. I am not sure whether you are having difficulties conceiving or whether you are concerned about a recurrence of the ‘pregnancy complications’ you say you had in the past. Also, you have not said what exactly those complications were. In addition, it is always helpful to be more specific such as by giving us your body mass index [BMI] (there is a free calculator here) or, at least, your actual weight rather than just using the loose term ‘overweight’. I think you can understand why it is rather tricky to give an individualised advice specific to your concerns. We will of-course be happy to do so if we receive those details. As you can see in the hundreds of pages of answers, you remain completely anonymous here.


Missing corpus callosum

Question:  When i was 11 weeks pregnant i contracted a viral infection, could this be the reason my daughter had absent corpus collosum and 7 months in to the pregnancy she was stillborn? K.L. (UK)


Answer: The corpus callosusm is the large bundle of nerves that connects the two parts of the main brain (cerebral hemispheres). It can be exceedingly difficult to make a plausible connection of all these events; namely, the viral infection, the missing corpus callosum and the stillbirth. A missing corpus callosum or corpus callosum agenesis to give it its medical term, is known to result from a number of causes. Viral infections veru early in pregnancy is thought to be one possible cause. However, it is probably unlikely to have been in your daughter’s case because the infection was really late. At 11 weeks, the brain, including the corpus callosum, is already formed, albeit in quite a miniature form. I do not know what else transpired in this pregnancy ie whether  there was any problem with growth or amniotic fluid volume before the loss of the baby. I would also assume you had an amniocentesis or CVS offered to try to establish whether there could be a chromosomal disorder to explain the absent corpus callosum. If that was ruled out, it remains possible that there was a difficult to establish genetic defect which was behind that brain developmental anomaly and ultimately could have been responsible for the stillbirth. I am sorry that this may not have moved you much further forward in your trying to understand what happened. I would assume, however, that your doctors were unable to give you clarity because they simply didn’t have the answers. My best wishes for the future.


Two consecutive early miscarriages

Question: Have been married for 6 months and i have had two miscarriages (always within 7 weeks). It normally begins with serious stomach ache, then discharge of blood some thick/clot. What could be wrong with me? B. (Nigeria)


Answer: This may not be reassuring but fact of the matter is, having two consecutive miscarriages is not so uncommon. The fact that you have conceived twice within six months should be reassuring that you do not have a problem in this area. Having lost two early pregnancies does not necessarily mean you have a problem. However, if you are very concerned, you could arrange to have tests to rule out antiphospholipid syndrome, a condition that can cause recurrent miscarriages. I would, however, try at least once more before embarking on that. On balance of probabilities, things will be alright next time around. My best wishes.



Sugar in the urine during pregnancy

Question:  I am 30 weeks pregnant my blood sugar levels are normal but i have traces of sugar in urine how can i control it? Please tell me the complete diet to control sugar in urine. Should i avoid eating fruits like apple, orange, pomegranate and vegetables like carrot, beetroot, potato. S. (India)


Answer: Actually you will be relieved to know that your worries are unwarranted. Having sugar in urine during pregnancy is not always abnormal. If your blood sugar is normal it means you are one of those women who have the so-called pregnancy related glycosuria. You see; some women will pass sugar in their urine during pregnancy because of the lowered filtering threshold in the kidneys. This is not uncommon and does not pose any risk to you or the baby. You absolutely don’t need to alter your diet because of this. We have touched upon this very subject here:



Dietary supplements in pregnancy

Question:  now I am 15wks pregnant and i take no medications. What are the supplementations i should take? S. (Egypt)


Answer: You do not necessarily need to take any dietary supplements. In fact, most pregnant women with a healthy balanced diet never need any supplements during pregnancy. There is a lot of commercial promotions for multi-vitamins for pregnant women. However, there is no basis other than profit for promoting these. If a specific deficiency is identified then that should be specifically targeted. Beyond that, just maintain a healthy diet and enjoy your pregnancy.




Itchy stretch marks at 32 weeks pregnant

Question:  Hi, i am 32 weeks pregnant with my first baby. Recently i noticed i have developed some stretch marks in my lower abdomen. But now its getting so itchy and developed bumps within the stretch mark. I feel little bit itchy some other areas of my body as well. I suffered from shingles, for which i took antiviral, when i was 13 weeks pregnant. First i thought same happening again but i found the symptoms are exactly same as polymorphic eruption of pregnancy. I want to know the reason why I’m having this and is there any risk for my baby and me, also any treatment which is safe for me. Thank you. K. (UK)

Answer: From your detailed description, I suspect that it is actually the development of the stretch marks that is primarily responsible for the itchiness. With stretch-marks, it is the underlying connective tissue fibres that are breaking. If this happens at a fast rate over a relatively short period, it can be intensely itchy. Since the itching appears to be largely confined to the stretched abdominal wall, this is the most likely cause. For this, I’m afraid there isn’t much that can be offered, other than emollients to sooth. However, you will be reassured to know that it is unlikely to get worse and will certainly have no negative impact on the baby in the womb. Of course giving you this advice remotely means I have to mention the possibility of cholestasis of pregnancy. This is another potential cause of itching in late pregnancy but this tends to be generalised and affects the palms and soles particularly. You may wish to ask your midwife for a test for this for peace of mind. I think it is unlikely.