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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Trying to conceive

Question: I would like to know what the best way to fall pregnant is other than intercourse. I really want a baby but it doesn't seem to be working. I’m healthy and so is my partner please help I’m desperate! S. (Australia)

Answer: You have given me far too little information here that it is unrealistic to expect an individualised advice. How old are you, how long have you been trying for, any previous pregnancies, are your periods regular and so on and so forth. If I were to take your summarised information at face value and assume you are of normal weight, relatively young (under 35), non-smoker, have regular periods, regular sexual intercourse (3-4 times a week), have been trying for less than a year and your partner is healthy, then, on the face of it, there is no obvious problem. For such a couple, success can usually be expected within around 12 months. Of course it does not happen that way for everybody and it is at this point that medical help is advised. If on analysing your situation you feel there might be an issue that requires a specialist’s attention then you should do so. Also, if you have been trying for more than 12 months, it may be time to seek medical help. I hope it works out well for you.

Could I be pregnant?

Question: I got my period round about the 18th April, i am normally on for roughly 5 days. I then had unprotected sex on the 28th April. I think I started ovulating on the 4th may but am not entirely sure. What are the chances I could be pregnant? E. (UK)

Answer: You have left out a vital piece of information. How long are your cycles normally. You had sex on the 11th day of your cycle (on the 28th). If you have a regular 28 days cycle or shorter, I have to say the 11th day is awfully close to mid-cycle point which is when ovulation is expected. With your dates, assuming a 28 yay cycle, ovulation would have been expected on May 1 (14th day). Bearing in mind that sperm can survive in a woman’s fallopian tubes, your having sex on Day 11 could potentially result in conception. However, you think your ovulation didn’t actually happen until 8 days after you had sex. If you are right in that then the possibility of pregnancy is very small.

Sickle Cell Trait and starting a family

Question: I have sickle cell trait and my spouse is also a carrier, want to be more enlightened about the precautions to be taken to avert SCD in the future generation. Though i have gone through your text and gotten some answers but will still need more info. Thanks.B. (Nigeria)

Answer: As you gathered from the main section on this subject, with both of you having sickle cell trait, every time you get pregnant the possibility of ending up with a child with the full sickle cell disease (SCD) is 25%, that is a 1 in 4. The remainder of the probability is 50% chance of the child being a carrier like the parents and finally a 25% chance that the child will have completely normal haemoglobin. Regarding your specific question about ‘averting’ sickle cell disease among your children, that cannot be done via natural conception. The only way you can do that is through assisted conception (IVF) involving pre-implantation diagnosis. This is where embryos created outside the womb are analysed for the specific defect you want to avoid and only those unaffected are implanted back into the womb. This is an expensive process and the ethics of it in a non-lethal condition like sickle cell would be highly questionable.

Exposure to infection in early pregnancy

Question: My daughter is 5 weeks pregnant.Is it safe for her to visit an elderly person who has a chest infection ( no exact diagnosis as to whether viral or bacterial)which started 3 days ago and who was started on antibiotics today.The visit is planned for 2-3 days' time. J. (UK)

Answer: I am sure you are aware that the very early part of pregnancy is, far and out, the most sensitive period. A bacterial chest infection would not pose any risk as these types of infections aren’t contagious. A viral infection, on the other hand, is a completely matter. Some (not all) viral infections are a direct risk to the baby especially if acquired by the mother in early pregnancy. Unless this trip is crucial or the diagnosis is known to be bacterial, it may be wise to play it safe and avoid this exposure.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) in pregnancy

Question: I was diagnosed with BV (bacterial vaginosis) around my 34th week of pregnancy, I have since taken 2 prescriptions of Flagyl orally, and I think my condition has gotten a bit better, but the infection still persists. I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do any more. I am now 37 weeks and my doctor gave me a vaginal cream this time. I'm just so worried that taking all this medication will harm my baby either mentally or physically. Parts of my mucus plug have already started to come out, is taking this cream still safe? Please Help! I'm completely lost in worry. A. (USA)

Answer: Please do not worry. Bacterial vaginosis can be a real nuisance at any time but that can be very distressing in pregnancy. However, apart from a small risk of causing preterm labour, it poses no other risk. Moreover, this is no longer an issue for you now that you are 37 weeks. Regarding the medication, Flagyl (Metronidazole) is used when required in pregnancy. Even though old animal studies had suggested possible adverse effects, use in humans has shown no evidence of this. It is safe. You have not said what cream you have been given but I suspect it is one that contains Clindamycin. This antibiotic is known to be safe to use in pregnancy and is in fact recommended dor dealing with recurrent BV in pregnancy in a bid to reduce the risk of preterm labor.

Clindamycin cream is safe to use  in pregnancy and where indicated it should be prescribed.