With a blighted ovum, the scan shows an empty sac like this
Dilated renal pelvis (baby)
Question: I am 21 weeks pregnant and i had my scan last week. I have been told
that my baby’s right kidney has a water. They booked me another scan for 34 weeks.
Is there anything i need to worry about? M. (UK)
Answer: I suspect what has been shown on the scan is what is described as a 'dilated
renal pelvis'. This is a fairly common finding and it is rarely serious. The actual
degree of dilatation is also important. A scan in the third trimester, as has been
arranged in your case, is mainly for reassurance to see if this has resolved. If
this is found to be persistent or increased, then a paediatric review for the baby
will be arranged after the birth. This is not always necessary and, in the main,
you don't need to worry.
Vaginal bleeding in very early pregnancy
Question: Hi, i recently found out i was pregnant i have started to bleed (like
a really light bleed like brown discharge) along with dull period-like pains in my
lower stomach. I am too early for the pregnancy to be seen on scan but my hormone
in my bloods are still rising daily. What do you think this could be? H. (UK)
Answer: Such symptoms as you describe mean that we are looking at a threatened miscarriage
but also the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. It is important that the ongoing
monitoring of your blood pregnancy hormone (beta-hCG) is maintained until clarity
is obtained. This will normally be checked every other day, shorter intervals are
not very useful. Getting clarity could take anything up to 2 weeks but in most cases
shorter than that.
Vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC)
Question: I am pregnant with my 2nd child now i had an emergency c section with my
first child i have been told i have a 70-30% chance of having a normal birth but
im not sure it is right for me, i would like another c section but can i have one
if i have been told that i can have one normally? K.H. (UK)
Answer: It is certainly the case that when there is no complication with a subsequent
pregnancy, it is strongly advised that a mother should aim for a vaginal delivery.
This advice is based on the proven fact that a vaginal birth is safer for both mother
and baby. Each person is, of-course, assessed for their individual suitability for
this strategy and for some, a repeat caesarean section may be the recommended option.
Ultimately, the decision is the mother’s (in the UK). Having said that, I would advise
that you seriously consider a vaginal birth unless there is a problem in your current
An empty gestational sac
Question: My sister is 8 weeks pregnant but has been told by a scan woman that she
is only 6 weeks and that there is no baby in the sac. Is this normal as she has not
experienced any bleeding or pains.The sac has grown in a space of a week could you
help please? C.B. (UK)
Answer: If the scan shows an empty sac which is smaller than it should be by her
dates, this will be strongly suggestive of a blighted ovum (anembryonic pregnancy)
It is not unusual for a blighted ovum to be discovered during a routine booking scan
where there has been no symptoms. I hope your sister has another scan planned, maybe
within two weeks of the original one, to ensure the findings and diagnosis are correct.
Dandy Walker Syndrome risk
Question: I was wondering if you can help......I tragically decided it was best to
terminate my pregnancy at 23 and half weeks due to 'Dandy-walker' syndrome and coartation
of the aorta. My partner and I have been to specialists/genetics,etc since I am
epileptic to find the cause of our daughter's major problems. My epilepsy specialist
thinks a lot of the problems were due to medication I take-Topiramate, 150mg twice
daily. I have slowly came off this since I wanted to lower the risks of this ever
happening again. However, my partner and I are scared to try for another pregnancy
without knowing risks of this happening again.....can you give us any answers? G.M.
Answer: I am sorry to hear of your recent baby loss. Dandy Walker syndrome is clearly
one of the most serious congenital abnormalities that can affect a baby in the womb.
The presence of coarctation of the aorta is not surprising since cardiac conditions
are some of the commonest abnormalities associated with this syndrome.
I cannot say for sure whether Topiramate is to blame for this particular development
but your specialist may well be right in this assumption. No anticonvulsant is completely
safe to take in pregnancy but Topiramate (also known as Topamax) is one of the more
teratogenic of this group of drugs. Your move to wean yourself off this medication
is clearly the right thing to do.
Even if events dictate that you need to go back to an anticonvulsant medication,
I would strongly suggest that you are tried on one of the relatively safer anticonvulsants
in pregnancy. It certainly should not be Topiramate.
Your being epileptic means you have a slightly higher risk of fetal malformation
compared to the general average of 3%. This is, even without being on medication.
However, the chances of having an unaffected baby is well over 95%. One cannot quantify
the actual risk of Dandy Walker syndrome recurrence in the absence of an identified
risk factor for you as a couple. I can, however, confidently state that such a risk
is very small indeed. That is all that one can honestly say without engaging in speculation
‘Botox’ injections for vaginismus
Question: Hi, I was just wondering if you knew where in the UK I could get someone
to give me botox injection for vaginismus? N. (UK)
Answer: It will be a mistake for you to go directly shopping for a particular remedy
for a medical problem. You may have the wrong diagnosis and it may not be the right
treatment for you. This type of condition is very frustrating and distressing but
it is my honest opinion that you should follow the normal channel to get a solution.
Your first stop should, therefore, be your GP. They may not be able to offer you
a referral to an NHS specialist but they they are best placed to advise you on whether
it is right for you and where you can get it from.