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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Polyhydramnios (excessive amniotic fluid)

Question:  What is the mechanism of polyhydramnios malabsorption? E. (Ethiopia)

Answer:  Polyhydramnios or excessive amniotic fluid comes about as a result of increased production of fluid or impaired mechanism of removing the fluid. You want to know the mechanism through which absorption fails to take place. In fact the principal mechanism through which fluid is removed is through fetal swallowing. Anything that interferes with fetal swallowing over a prolonged period of time (several days or weeks) will lead to excessive amniotic fluid. Some babies have upper gut obstruction usually at the level of the oesophagus. Even though they can swallow, the fluid will find its way blocked. In some cases, some viral infections can temporarily paralyse the muscles of the baby as a result of which the baby is completely immobile and is unable to even swallow. This can lead to polyhydramnios. These and other causes of polyhydramnios are discussed in greater detail here:

When to stop Aspirin in Pregnancy

Question:  Hi I just want to know. I suffer from thromboses and im 35 weeks pregnant. I’ve been taking a low dose of aspirin to help out to thin the blood. It has worked on me so far. Im told to stop my tablets now but Im still worried that something will happen to my baby if I stop the tablets. Can I continue taking the tablets until birth? Or if I do, is there a risk that something may happen to me during birth. Please help me I need to know. Thank you. K.L.

Answer: Trust your doctors on this. The advice you have been given is correct and in keeping with standard practise. Aspirin taken for this or any other purpose in pregnancy should ideally be stopped a few weeks before the expected date of delivery. This is because its role is really no longer relevant at that late stage of pregnancy and, more importantly, its blood thinning effect does carry a risk of causing excessive haemorrhage at birth. You should therefore heed this advice and, don’t worry, this will not harm your baby. Best wishes.

Phantom pregnancy and pregnancy test

Question: Can a phantom pregnancy show false positive results on a clear blue digital pregnancy test? K.M. (UK)

Answer: No. A pregnancy test of any type is NEVER positive in a phantom pregnancy. Once you have a positive pregnancy test, that cannot be a phantom pregnancy. If there has been any such result, the concerned person is most likely pregnant. Of-course you can get a falsely positive pregnancy test but that is not the same as a phantom pregnancy. You can read more about phantom pregnancy here:

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

Question: A case of moderate hyperstimulation syndrome with early pregnancy and threatening abortion, can i use progesterone? H. (Kuwait)

Answer: I couldn’t work out whether you are asking as a doctor or as a patient. Also, I am unsure whether you are enquiring about progesterone use as a management of the hyperstimulation (OHSS) or as an early pregnancy support this presumably being a pregnancy resulting from assisted reproduction techniques. I am, therefore, going to be general in my answer. In mild/moderate OHSS, the mainstay of management is painkillers and good hydration whilst maintaining light physical activity. The problem resolves with time. Progesterone therapy has no role to play in the management of OHSS. However, if the affected woman is pregnant and still on the Progesterone support started during the  luteal phase of the IVF process, she should continue and complete the course as per protocol. Most IVF protocols offer this through the first trimester. I hope that covers what you wanted to know.

Bleeding in early pregnancy

Question: I’m about 3 weeks pregnant and continue to have light bleeding and at times it comes in a dark form, have no abdominal pain. what do you think it happening. S. (UK)

Answer: What you are experiencing is what is generally termed as threatened miscarriage. However, I’m a little confused. What do you mean by “three weeks pregnant”? Strictly speaking, there is no such thing. Since gestation is counted from the first day of your last period, the count cannot really be less than 4 weeks. You appear to be counting from when you think you might have conceived (I’m guessing). That is incorrect. In any case, get yourself seen by your doctor to have tests and clarify what is happening.  Whatever your true gestation is, it is almost certainly too early for an ultrasound scan.

When did I conceive?

Question: Please may I know when I conceived? R.G. (India)

Answer: We have a free utility on this site where you can enter the relevant data to get all you need to know about your pregnancy. What you need is two essential pieces of information: The date when your last period started and the average length of your cycles, if you normally have a period every 4 weeks, just enter 28 days. If you have these details, the calculator will give you your due date as well as your current gestation. From the latter you can work out when you conceived. One last important point: Whatever gestation you are given, take away 2 weeks to get the likely date of your conception. If the calculator says you are 12 weeks, it means you are likely to have conceived 10 weeks ago. Click here to get to the calculator.