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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Dandy Walker malformation recurrence

Question:  Does Dandy Walker syndrome repeat in the next pregnancy? X (India)

Answer: Recurrence is possible and the generally quoted rate is 1 in 100 or 1%. However, in some cases, the risk of recurrence can be as high as 5%. There is a more detailed answer to a similar question that you can access by clicking here:

How soon does a woman know she has conceived?

Question: Can a woman know she is pregnant three days after having sex? S. (Algeria)

Answer: No, that is not possible. It is important to be aware that the pregnancy symptoms and early changes that occur when a woman conceives are a direct result of the change in the hormonal environment in the body. Those hormonal changes will only occur after implantation of the fertilised egg has taken place and the placenta (afterbirth) starts forming. Implantation does not take place until after about a week following the act of sex and therefore conception. There are full details about all this in a dedicated section about conception and early pregnancy.

Possible pre-eclampsia and growth restriction of baby

Question:  I am on hospital bedrest for iugr (baby was measuring 2 weeks behind but has fallen to 3. I will be 25 weeks tomorrow and 24 hr urine done on Wednesday, completed on Thursday has shown that I have preeclampsia. Right now it is mild, blood pressure has not changed much (ranges from 127/75-140/85, highest was 150/85). I have been given steroids but what are my chances of holding off another 3-5 weeks? Is there anything I can do to keep results where they are so that they do not get more severe? My baby only weighed 13 oz(386g) at 24.4 weeks and I desperately need to get her to or over a pound to help her chances for survival. L.D. (USA)

Answer: I must confess to be a little puzzled by the scenario that you paint. Mind you, I am not criticising the decisions made. I suspect the main concern on the part of your doctors has been triggered by the apparent growth restriction of the baby in the womb. Pre-eclampsia establishing at such an early stage of pregnancy is quite unusual. Also the blood pressure readings you quoted there do not really qualify for such a label. They are not high enough. I do not have information on whether your urine was/is also showing protein loss (your details seem to suggest so) and, if so, to what extent. I also would have liked to know whether there are any abnormal blood results especially with liver function tests and blood platelet count. All in all, I feel I have too little information to give you an opinion with confidence. I hope things have stabilised over the last five weeks and that the pregnancy continues to progress.

If, indeed, this has turned out to be pre-eclampsia, the one thing that you can do on your part is to maximise rest to facilitate optimal blood flow to the baby. If you smoke, that should be an absolute no-no.  The doctors should do the rest. If there is anything more we can help you with, please do not hesitate to get in touch again.

Both parents have sickle cell trait

Question: What is the prognosis of a child who's parents both have sickle cell trait? Is there a percentage this child will not have sickle cell or can live a normal life?? Please respond, thanks!!! R.B. (USA)

Answer: For a couple with sickle cell trait, the chance of any child in that relationship being completely unaffected is 25%. That is 1 in 4. There is also a 25% chance that the child could have the full-blown condition namely sickle cell disease. However, the biggest possibility is that the child will have sickle cell trait like the parents. That possibility stands at 50%. However, that is cold statistics and just gives you the probabilities mathematically. It is entirely possible for such a couple to have 4 children and all of them unaffected. It is also possible to have all of them affected by sickle cell disease and any other permutations because outcomes are a lottery. I hope that is helpful. Also, please check out this answer with an illustration given earlier to another visitor.

Cyclogest, duphaston and Spasmex in pregnancy

Question:  Hi. I just found out that I am pregnant. Previously I had to terminate one pregnancy at 5th month as the child's kidneys were not developed. Second time there was no heartbeat but just a sac and I had to get a D&C at 8th week.

Now I am pregnant again and my doctor has prescribed me Cyclogest 400mg, Duphaston and Spasmex for one month. I am scared and worried as to what these medicines are for. My HCG level was 3426 mlU/ml with a range of >5.3. Please help and reply if these medicines have any side effects and what these are for. Thanks. S.A. (Pakistan)

Answer: First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy. I am rather disappointed to see that your doctor has prescribed you medicines without bothering to explain what they are for. He/she may be well meaning but that is not an ideal doctor/patient interaction. OK, so what are the medicines for: In the old days, if there was a suspicion that a woman was prone to miscarriage in early pregnancy, progestogen hormone preparations were given to try to prevent this from happening. The use of progestogens for this purpose has since been discredited as there is conclusive evidence that it does not work. Progestogen support is only used in IVF pregnancies. For a naturally conceived pregnancy, it has no benefit whatsoever. Cyclogest and Duphaston are progestogens. Looking at your history, I cannot for the life of me work out the reasons why these have been prescribed for you. However, you can be reassured that these are completely harmless for your baby.

The prescription of Spasmex is even more puzzling. The active ingredient in Spasmex is Trospium. This belongs to a group of medicines called antimuscarinics. These drugs are used for controlling urinary urgency, frequency and incontinence. Again, I cannot understand why this has been prescribed as it has no role to play in pregnancy. Whilst there is no information available regarding its safety in pregnancy, the advice as with all such drugs is to avoid. Wishing you the best in your pregnancy.