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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Using a Partograph

Question:  is the use of partograph helpful in management of prolonged labour? If so; how? S.D.


Answer: The use of a partograph in labour ward practise is meant to prevent an unduly prolonged labour. By observing faithfully the alert lines and action lines, timely intervention is effected and the problems associated with prolonged labour will be avoided. These would include maternal and/or fetal distress, increased risk of postpartum haemorrhage, postpartum (puerperal) sepsis, neonatal infection etc. In extreme cases, genital fistula could result. Even though this has disappeared in the developed west, sadly, it is still seen in some developing countries with inadequate intrapartum care.

Check out the answer we gave earlier to the use of a partograph by clicking here:




Abdominal pain post-miscarriage

Question:  Hi; I recently suffered a miscarriage at 4-6 weeks, my doctors weren’t helpful at all. It’s now 2 weeks on and I’ve started with stomach pains to the extent i couldn’t get out of bed yesterday. It feels like a real dead weight in my pelvic area. Could i have in infection from the miscarriage? S.J. (UK)


Answer: I am sorry to hear of your recent pregnancy loss. The symptoms you describe are a cause for concern and even though it is rather late since the miscarriage, a pelvic infection needs to be actively ruled out. A suspicion of pelvic infection should always be dealt with promptly and I would urge you to contact your local hospital straight away.





‘Low’ hCG levels and bleeding in early pregnancy

Question:  I am 6 weeks pregnant. I am having low hcg level.. I am experiancing brown spotting since a week.. I had my ultrasound done and found the fetal position was correctly inside the uterus,but now since two days I’ve been bleeding heavily. What is the reason ? Will it be a miscarriage??? A. (United Arab Emirates)


Answer: I don’t think anybody can say with absolute certainty that you are going to have a miscarriage. However, the picture you paint here is a cause for genuine concern. You have said the hCG levels are low. I take it to mean that they have not been going up as expected. If this is the case and you are indeed bleeding “heavily”, as you put it, then the probability of miscarriage is considerable.  Even though your scan was presumably only a couple of days ago, I would think another review and repeat scan is called for in view of these developments.





Vaginal bleeding and sex during pregnancy

Question:  Can I have sex if not seeing any more blood?  J (UK)


Answer: Your question was so brief that I had to make a few assumptions. I am assuming that you are pregnant and have had vaginal bleeding which led to you being advised to refrain from having penetrative sexual intercourse. If that is the case then a review of this advise depends on the identified cause of that bleed. If no specific cause was identified, then you can certainly resume having sex. If you were found to have a cervical ectropion (erosion), you should be aware that you may experience post-coital bleeding again. If you have been found to have a low lying placenta or frank placenta praevia, you should refrain from having penetrative sex for the rest of the pregnancy duration.





Pelvic pain in pregnancy

Question:  I am having pain in my ovary and I am 14 wks pregnant.  The feeling is like I am ovulating.  Should I be concerned? A. (USA)


Answer: It is extremely unlikely that the pain you are having is of ‘ovarian’ origin as you seem to believe. There are very few conditions that cause ovarian pain. Most conditions affecting ovaries do not cause pain. Even though this pain is apparently in that general area, the source is likely to be elsewhere.

This could be the abdominal wall. I would expect that, at 14 weeks, you have already had an ultrasound scan. If this showed nothing untoward, you can be reassured. If you have not had a scan, then this should be the next thing you do. All in all, this is unlikely to be of clinical significance.





Linea nigra

Question:  What is the meaning of ‘abdomen -linea nigra’? The doctor has written this in my antenatal book. I don’t know what it means. Thanks. P.A. (UK)


Answer: It is really nothing to be concerned about. This is the thin dark brown or black line that develops in the abdominal midline below the belly-button during pregnancy.

It slowly fades and disappears after delivery. The doctor would have been recording that you have this. Not every pregnant woman develops the linea nigra. The name is Latin, literally meaning ‘black line’.




Both partners have sickle cell trait

Question:  Can my fiancé  and i have normal kids? The question is because we are both sickle cell trait...am very confused. C.A.A.


Answer: The answer is absolutely yes; you can have ‘normal’ kids. If both of you have sickle cell trait, it means each of you have one normal gene and one defective (sickling) gene. Each of you can only contribute one gene to a child. If each of you contribute the normal gene, the offspring will be completely unaffected by this condition. If one of you contributes a normal gene and the other one the defective gene, the child will have sickle cell trait (like you both) and finally, if both of you contribute the defective gene, the resulting child will have sickle cell disease. The probability of having a completely unaffected child is 1 in 4; that is 25%. The probability of having a child with the full condition (sickle cell disease) is also 25%. This means, there is a 50% chance that the child will have sickle cell trait. I hope that clears the picture for you.