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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Two consecutive blighted ovum pregnancies

Question: I had 2 blighted ovum pregnancies; 1st in 2009 , then 2nd in 2010. What are the tests i need to undergo to check why it is happening? I’m 30yrs old now. Plz help. A.

Answer: Even though two consecutive early pregnancy losses as a result of blighted ovum is uncommon; it does happen. It is desperately heart-breaking especially when the pregnancies are planned but it does not mean there is an inherent underlying problem. It is most probably simply bad luck that they have happened in succession. It is therefore not possible, on this basis alone, to recommend any helpful tests. Recurrent miscarriage due to known causes such as antiphospholipid syndrome don’t tend to be in the form of blighted ovum. However, this too has been known to happen. Should you wish to pursue this and ask for these particular tests, I am confident your doctor will look at the issue sympathetically. My best wishes.

Predicting and diagnosing Down’s syndrome before the birth

Question: Can we tell that the future born baby has a down syndrome when it is still a fetus? L. (Albania)

Answer: it is certainly possible to predict and even diagnose Down’s syndrome on theamnio part of the baby while he/she is still in the womb. Screening tests are meant to be predictive. In other words, they tell the parents the probability of their baby being affected by this chromosomal disorder. None of the screening tests is 100% accurate so some affected babies are missed. Likewise, some babies not affected could be labelled likely to have Down’s syndrome. When parents want to be absolutely certain whether their unborn baby is affected or not, they have to opt for one of the diagnostic tests. All the currently available diagnostic tests are invasive meaning they involve the taking of a sample of amniotic fluid or a tiny piece of placental tissue for analysis. By virtue of their being invasive, these tests carry the risk of causing a miscarriage. All these are universally available to expectant mothers in countries of western Europe. However, in those countries where this services is not available through National Health Services, the tests can be expensive and out of reach for many women. In the United States for instance, an amniocentesis costs an average of $1500 but can be significantly higher than this. This is often too expensive for many poor uninsured women.

Position to optimise chances of successful conception

Question:  Please can you tell me the best position that quickens conception during intercourse, because I noticed any time I have intercourse with my husband and he ejaculate, the sperm rushes out as soon as he removes his penis from the vagina. Please how do we avoid this if it can hinder conception? Thank you. U.T.

Answer: You can relax. This is a completely non-issue. Semen coming out immediately after withdrawal of the penis after ejaculation is normal. However, by that time, millions of individual sperms would have found their way into the womb and some will already be making their way down the fallopian tubes. With luck, an egg would have been released and waiting. That being the case, it will be fertilised and, voilà! conception is complete. You should absolutely not worry about seeing the semen coming out of the vagina after sex. That is the norm and what happens with everybody unless a condom is being used. Position during sex is immaterial as far as chances of conception are concerned.

Bleeding in very early pregnancy

Question: I am 4/5 week pregnant and having bleed not as bad as period blood i have done 4 more test and it still say i am pregnant but the doc 1 say im not can you help  K.(UK)

Answer: I take it, by 4/5 weeks pregnant you are referring to the time your last period started in that it was 4 or 5 weeks ago. If that is the case, then a scan will be of no help since you cannot see anything at such an early stage. If, however by 4 or 5 week, you are referring to when you think you might have conceived, there may be a place for a scan if, indeed, the pregnancy test is persistently positive. The picture is not very clear to me: What have been the intervals between those numerous pregnancy tests? If they have been done days apart, I would definitely recommend a scan. If all the tests were done on the same day, their significance is not so certain. You see, if you have an early miscarriage, the pregnancy test could remain positive for a few days after as the hormone is slowly cleared from your system. A miscarriage is therefore one possibility here.

If the ‘light’ vaginal bleeding has been continuing over a number of days and the pregnancy test has been positive repeatedly over that time, an ectopic pregnancy may need to be ruled out. For that, you will need to be seen at your local hospital’s early pregnancy assessment unit. I couldn’t comment on your doctor’s apparent insistence that you are not pregnant unless he/she has seen clinical evidence of a complete miscarriage or a negative pregnancy test.

Choosing the gender of your baby

Question:  Please, I would like to have a baby boy? What should i do to increase my chances of conceiving a male child? O. (Nigeria)

Answer: This is a fairly popular subject. However, I am likely to disappoint you. There is no scientifically proven way of increasing the chances of getting a baby of one sex or another via natural conception.  There are a lot of claims from so-called experts but none of their methods have stood up to scientific scrutiny. It is, of-course possible to choose the sex of our baby if you are having assisted conception via in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). With this, only embryos of the desired sex are put back in the womb.The subject of baby gender selection has been covered in some detail on this site and you may wish to read the relevant section by clicking here:

Trying to conceive after a miscarriage

Question: I had a miscarriage in November 2009 and went through evacuation. Since then i have been trying for a baby to no avail. What could be the possible problem? I went for a test and was told i have chlyamadia and have been treated. Could it be that there is a problem? Please let me know and the solution to it. C.S.

Answer: Following your miscarriage, it has been barely four months of trying to conceive. In all fairness, that is not long enough to start worrying about a potential problem. In many cases, it can take significantly longer than that to conceive even if you are having regular unprotected intercourse. On the other hand, your history of chlamydia infection might be significant. You have not said whether the diagnosis was before or after the said miscarriage. If it was before then it may not be significant. If the diagnosis was in the period after the miscarriage that may be significant. Chlamydia infection, even after successful treatment can leave an aftermath that can have future fertility problems. There is potential for permanent damage to the tubes which increase risk of ectopic pregnancy and, in severe cases, complete tubal blockage which will make it impossible to conceive naturally. If you are worried about possible tubal damage to your tubes, bring that to the attention of your doctor who is likely to refer you for appropriate tubal patency tests.

More questions and answers on the next page

An amniocentesis is invasive and can lead to a miscarriage