Question: I am in the 16th week of pregnancy. I get stomach pain at least twice a day but once I go to the bathroom, the pain vanishes from the stomach. Is this due to some kind of gas? I went for an intravaginal scan a week ago and this was normal. Please let me know what should be done. A.K. (india)
Answer: A normal ultrasound scan is reassuring in the sense that this pain is unlikely to be directly related to the pregnancy. It is important that common causes of pain in pregnancy such as a urinary tract infection are ruled out. A urine test will therefore be useful. You may also wish to know that many episodes of abdominal pain in pregnancy remain unexplained.
Answer: It sounds like you have suffered two consecutive missed miscarriages. A missed miscarriage is where the fetus dies with no apparent cause, usually in the first trimester or early second trimester. There are usually no warning signs or symptoms and often, the first time the mother discovers something has gone wrong with the pregnancy is when she has her scan which shows absence of fetal heartbeat, just like in your case. In many cases of missed miscarriage, a specific cause is never identified.
In some cases, fetal demise occurs because there was something wrong with the baby, either a genetic or chromosomal disorder. In other cases, the mother might have an underlying problem such as antiphospholipid syndrome. There are tests for this latter condition and such tests are offered usually after two or three consecutive miscarriages. We have discussed antiphospholipid syndrome in more detail here:
Answer: As a rule of thumb, the earlier the scan, the more accurate it is in dating a pregnancy. In any case, for practical purposes, you are probably going to see that the two day difference does not make any material difference. Whilst the dates from the ‘official’ dating scan at 12 weeks are going to be used, in the end it won’t matter as the baby will arrive when ready. As you would probably know, only around 1 in 100 babies arrive on their calculated due date. If you happen to go over your due date, the dating scan dates will be used to determine when induction of labour should be done, typically 10 - 14 days after that due date.