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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Group B strep and labour

Question:  what happens to women with group b haemolytic strep if they catch it after labour? A. (UK)

Answer: You will have realised from our details on this topic that the presence of this bacteria (haemolytic group B strep) is of significance only when it is there before the baby is born. It follows therefore that, if a woman is found to carry this bacteria after labour (and delivery), no action is required. Presence of this type of bacteria in the genital tract is, in strict terms, not an infection for the woman herself. Whenever a vaginal swab shows group B strep bacteria when the woman is not pregnant, no treatment will be given.

It is regarded as part of the normal environment in the genital tract for some women. However, if such a woman gets pregnant subsequently, she will have to have antibiotics during labour to protect the baby. Can I, once again, stress on the point that you do not catch group B strep. It is not a sexually transmitted infection.

Lack of sex drive during pregnancy

Question:  I am 29 week pregnant from last few weeks i don't enjoy doing sex, in fact i feel that i don't require it, is this a temporary feeling? and how i explain it to my partner that why i am not able to satisfy him. M

Answer: Loss of libido during pregnancy is not all that uncommon. You do need to be honest with your partner about this and you can reassure him that this almost always resolves after delivery. However, word of caution here. Poor sex drive is commonest in the few weeks after delivery so there is a likelihood that what you are experiencing now may carry on for a couple of months or so after the baby arrives. Understanding and patience are important in these matters otherwise a relationship can suffer. However, as I said before, you will almost certainly be back to your normal feelings and desires in due course.

Risk of recurrence of ectopic pregnancy

Question:  I did find out that i had ectopic pregnancy followed by a miscarriage as it came away by itself and i did not need any surgery back in april. Please can u tell me if its a higher risk for it to happen again as i am 5 weeks pregnant E.H. (UK)

Answer: once a woman has had an ectopic pregnancy, whether it is managed by surgery, medication or, as was the case with you, conservatively, there is a significant increase in the risk of ectopic pregnancy happening again. This is why the advice is always to report any subsequent pregnancy as soon as you find out. That is meant to allow for an early scan to locate the pregnancy. Once it is confirmed to be in the womb, everybody can relax. If it is found to be an ectopic, management can be instituted before it has had time to cause complications. Tubal rupture and severe haemorrhage is the dreaded complication of ectopic pregnancy. I hope all these arrangements are in place for you.

Vaginal bleeding and ectopic pregnancy

Question:  With an ectopic pregnancy, can you bleed at 5 or 6 weeks? K. (UK)

Answer: Yes. However, the bleeding tends to be quite light. Not everybody with an ectopic pregnancy will get this but it does occasionally happen.

Suspected pulmonary embolism (PE) in pregnancy

Question:  The doctors have recommended my niece have one of the VQ tests for a possible pulmonary embolism in her lung. However they have said one test could give her breast cancer-it runs in the family, and the other test could give the baby cancer! Have we got a safe alternative? C.W. (UK)

Answer: It is important to take things in their proper context. Doctors are duty bound to tell a patient all the potential risks associated with any proposed test or treatment. That allows for informed consent. You will have noticed on the section where we discuss this topic that the dose of radiation involved in a V/Q scan is about one tenth of the total dose considered to be safe in pregnancy. The alternative to the V/Q scan is a CT pulmonary angiogram (CTPA). This also involves ionising radiation and the exposure of the breast tissue is slightly higher with this. However, in absolute terms, the risk to the mother from either test is extremely small and to the fetus, even less. The risk of delayed or missed diagnosis of pulmonary embolism is infinitely higher.

Sex during late pregnancy

Question:  is sex safe after 30 weeks of pregnancy? M.S.

Answer: Yes. Sex is perfectly safe for both mother and baby at any stage of pregnancy. That is, all the way up to the eve of labour. Exceptions are where there is placenta praevia,  a pregnancy condition that is discussed here:

Positive pregnancy test and ‘empty’ uterus.

Question:  Is it possible to be pregnant but the blood test shows positive but the scan is empty? N.S.N. (Zambia)

Answer: There are several possible explanations for such a scenario. These are:

Offensive smell in early pregnancy

Question:  I am pregnant about 8 weeks along and I have a foul smell it's not yeast infection I have had a miscarriage in the past I want to know what could it be? C.E. (USA)

Answer: I cannot be sure what is causing this. You have not said whether it is just a smell or whether there is a discharge as well. Lower genital tract infections are extremely uncommon during pregnancy. The exceptions are bacterial vaginosis (discussed here) which can cause a fishy smell, and thrush which is normally odorless. Seeing as it is early pregnancy, it may be important for you to have an ultrasound scan to ensure all is well with the pregnancy. Vaginal swabs are certainly required to establish the cause of the offensive smell. My best wishes in your pregnancy.