Question: Now I am in 29th week of gestation & I have white liquid discharge through my vagina,am not sure whether is it a serious problem & should I take any precautionary measure for the same? Is it amniotic fluid or is it because of some kind of infection? plz let me know asap..... V. (UK)
Question: Is it possible for a pregnant woman to know if the baby she is carrying will be, a sickle cell carrier or anemic at few weeks pregnancy i.e. AS or SS? O.I. (UK)
Answer: It is, in theory, quite possible to know whether the baby in the womb has got sickle cell disease (abbreviated as Hb-SS), is a carrier (Hb-AS) or has got normal haemoglobin (Hb-AA). I said ‘in theory’ because making this diagnosis before the baby is born will involve an invasive test similar to the ones used to diagnose conditions such as Down’s syndrome. It would therefore appear questionable to use such risky tests to try to get this kind of information. Most prospective parents who may have reason to suspect that the baby is at risk of either having sickle cell trait (AS) or sickle cell disease (SS) would go as far as trying to establish the probability of the baby being affected and go no further.
It is easy to calculate that probability by simply knowing the status of the parents. If one of the parents does not carry the defective gene and is therefore not even a carrier, there is no possibility of the baby having sickle cell disease. The most that can happen in this regard is the child having sickle cell trait and the probability of this happening is 1 in 2 (50%). If both parents are carriers (sickle cell trait); there is a 25% chance that the child will have the full-blown condition (known variably as ‘sickle cell disease’ or ‘sickle cell anaemia’). There is also a 25% chance that the child will be completely unaffected. That leaves 50% which is the probability of the child having sickle cell trait like the parents. See illustration below.
Two parents with Sickle Cell Trait
Question: I took one flucloxacillin tablet and that afternoon realised i may be pregnant - will this cause birth defects if i am pregnant? M. (Australia)
Answer: Flucloxacillin is an antibiotic that belongs to the ‘Penicillin’ group. All Penicillins, and that includes Flucloxacillin, are safe to use at any stage of pregnancy. You have absolutely nothing to worry about as far as that medication is concerned.