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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Early pregnancy signs and symptoms

Question: After how long are the signs of pregnancy visible? What is the first sign of pregnancy beside missing a period? What could cause someone to miss a period and have no signs and pregnancy test be negative? P. (South Africa)

Answer: Pregnancy symptoms and their intensity vary from person to person. Many women may not have any symptoms (apart from a missed period) until the pregnancy is around about 7 weeks. Nausea and vomiting especially in the morning is common. Breast engorgement and some tenderness is another common symptom. There are women who do not get any symptoms at all and yet others who get quite pronounced symptoms soon after missing their period. Experiences do vary a lot. As for visible signs, the bump does not appear until after 12 weeks (about 3 months). Regarding the last part of your question, there are many other causes of a missed period apart from pregnancy. In fact, there is an apt article addressing that specific question and you can reach that by clicking here:

Bleeding at 6 weeks gestation

Question:  Hi, i am 6 weeks plus preg, i have got bleeding heavier tan a normal period and slight pain.What maybe it be? It’s my 7th preg and not previous problems with the rest. S. (UK)

Answer: Bleeding at this early stage of the pregnancy has got to be regarded as a ‘threatened miscarriage’ until proven otherwise. You need to contact your GP or your local hospital’s A&E or the early pregnancy assessment unit for an urgent ultrasound scan to be done. Best wishes.

Using Septrin in pregnancy

Question: I am 32 weeks pregnant and on Doctor's recommendation was asked to take septrin and some other cough syrup for the treatment of a mild cough. I want to know how safe it is for me to take septrin at this stage of pregnancy? O. (USA)

Answer: Whilst Septrin should not be used at all in the first trimester of pregnancy, itSeptrin in Pregnancys use in the later phases of pregnancy is regarded as safe for most people. However, this advice comes with a note of caution. Since Septrin contains Trimethoprim which is a folic acid antagonist, it is always better to use alternatives which are known to be completely safe. This could be one of the Penicillins (amoxicillin etc) or a cephalosporin such as Cefalexin etc. Another point that I will make if I may is that antibiotics are very rarely necessary for an upper respiratory infection because these are overwhelmingly viral, meaning antibiotics will not be of any value. These conditions are self-limiting. You describe yours as a ‘mild cough’. I have to say I doubt very much that you need Septrin or any other antibiotic for that matter.

Medication for painful periods

Question: What are the drugs used for pain during periods? K. (India)

Answer: There are no drugs specific for pain during menstruation. To control the pain, standard pain-killers such as Codeine or Ibuprofen are used. To deal effectively with the pain the woman may need to be on the oral contraceptive pill or use hormone based intra-uterine devices such as Mirena. These are very effective in reducing, even eliminating pain associated with periods. Of course these cannot be used by a woman who is actively trying to conceive.

Is this a reliable source of information?

Question: I hope that you do not mind my asking this question too much but how do I know that you are a reputable internet site?
The site appears to contain a lot of detailed information but I am somewhat dubious in relation to trusting websites with my medical questions relating to important medical information.
Any information you could provide would be much appreciated.. Many thanks. A. (Australia)

Answer: Hello, thank you. You absolutely don’t need to worry about our feelings. We would rather everybody challenged the authenticity of their sources of information.

While the internet is a great information tool, it has also attracted a lot of charlatans and  quacks who spew out rubbish purporting to be authoritative information. Us? Well, we have given an overview of all those who contribute content to this site and answer questions. You can find that synopsis on the ‘About us’ page here:

Cysts in the brain on an early baby scan

Question: i am 27 weeks pregnant and i am taking lovenox injections twice a day and my doctor told me today that when i had my first ultra sound when i was 13 weeks he had some kinda cysts on his head and i was wanting to know did the lovenox shot do this? I am very worried and scared. K.K. (USA)

Answer: Even though the information supplied is rather vague, I am pretty certain you are talking about what are known as choroid plexus cysts. These are cysts often detected in the brain of fetuses in scans performed in the first half of pregnancy. Choroid plexus cysts almost invariably disappear as the pregnancy advances and they are usually gone by the beginning of the third trimester. Lovenox that you are using, which is a type of heparin used mainly to prevent or treat thrombosis does not cause choroid plexus cysts. We have discussed these cysts in more detail here:

Septrin should not be first choice in pregnancy