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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Cancer of the womb in pregnancy

Question:  Uterus cancer in pregnancy  F.D. (UK)

Answer: Your question is quite brief and devoid of details to go by. I am therefore forced to guess as to what you wanted to know!  There are three broad types of cancer that can affect the womb. Cancer of the cervix (neck of the womb) is the commonest in the child-bearing age. It is often seen or discovered during routine pregnancy care. This is especially the case in the developing world. Women in the developed world have benefited from regular screening for decades now and this occurrence is relatively rare. More details on cancer of the cervix in pregnancy can be found in this section.

The second type of cancer that can affect the womb is what is called uterine sarcoma. This affects the muscle which forms the body of the uterus. It is a relatively rare type of cancer and much rarer still in the child-bearing age group. In fact, world-wide, over the last 140 years, there has been only nine such cases reported. You have a higher chance of winning the lottery than getting this!

The third type of cancer to affect the womb is endometrial cancer. This is cancer of the lining of the womb. This type of cancer is quite uncommon in the younger age groups and, in the main, it affects post-menopausal women. However, it has certainly been known to occur in women in their early thirties. Polycystic ovarian syndrome and morbid obesity are known to be risk factors. When diagnosed early, and if it is the less aggressive type, it is possible to get fertility preserving treatment. Pregnancy is protective against development of endometrial cancer.

A faintly positive pregnancy test mid-cycle.

Question:  My question is, i am supposed to be ovulating on the 12th and i get my period instead. I did a pregnancy test and found out it is faintly positive ..could i be pregnant? M. (Netherlands Antilles)

Answer: Pregnancy is possible but probably unlikely. The fact that you had a bleed which you describe as a period does not suggest pregnancy. It simply suggests a mid-cycle bleed. You may need to wait a week or so and repeat the test. If you are pregnant, it should be strongly positive. Chances are, it will be negative.

It might be a show

Question:  What does a thick sticky discharge mean at the 39th week of pregnancy? M. (Sri lanka)

Answer: That may very well be the mucus plug. You see, during pregnancy, there is a plug of mucus at the cervix. It is protective. When labour is impending, the cervix starts to gradually and usually painlessly  dilate. The mucus plug becomes loose and detaches, appearing in the vagina and to the outside. Sometimes it may have streaks of blood in it. That’s what is known as a show. Normally labour follows within hours or, at most, a day or two.

Complications of caesarean section

Question:  What are the possible illness post operation (caesarean)? D.M. (India)

Answer: Whilst caesarean section is a very safe surgical procedure, it still carries with it a potential for various things to go wrong. Some of these can be quite serious, even life-threatening. A comprehensive list of these and their details can be found here:

Hip joints complications of a frank breech position in the womb

Question:  Are there any problems with extended breech babies after they are born? Do the legs straighten out immediately? Do the hips form properly? Can a scan pick up any abnormalities with the hips etc before they are born? L.M. (UK)

Answer: As explained in the section on ‘breech’, a breech position in the womb is associated with a condition called developmental dysplasia of the hip. This condition predisposes to dislocation of one or both hip joints for the children affected. It is estimated that up to 20% of breech babies could be so affected.

This problem is thought to result from the position of the legs which stretch the joint ligaments, making them lax after delivery. Also, the joint socket might be underdeveloped thereby making for a poor fit of the head of the thigh-bone (femur). Extended  (frank) breech is the type most associated with this potential problem. Diagnosis is almost always postnatal.

Partner’s Penicillin allergy

Question:  I am 36+ weeks pregnant. I've been given amoxycillin to take for an infection. My partner and all his family have allergic reactions to penicillin. Should i take it? M.R. (UK)

Answer: Since the person with the allergy is your partner (and members of his side of the family), I take it your concern is whether there could be an adverse effect on the baby. If so, the answer is no. If you don’t have history of Penicillin allergy (Amoxycillin is a type of Penicillin), you should take it. You and your baby are safe.

Amoxycillin safety in pregnancy

Question: is Amoxycillin safe to take during pregnancy? M.M. (UK)

Answer: Your question is timely since the answer to the question above addresses this very subject. Yes, if you don’t have history of allergy to Penicillins, you can take Amoxycillin during pregnancy. It is safe for both of you. In general, Penicillins are safe in pregnancy. There is more detail on this subject here:

Large fibroid in pregnancy

Question: 28 years old primigravida conceived spontaneously soon after her marriage. Initial checkup ultrasound shows huge fibroid (20 cms) with viable pregnancy of 10  weeks gestation. What is the management? S. (India)

Answer: I take it from your question that you are a doctor, a medical student or similar. Well, you sit tight. There is no active intervention for the fibroid that is possible during the pregnancy. You need to warn the pregnant lady that there might be complications during pregnancy or labour. Fibroids are prone to degeneration and this is somewhat increased during pregnancy. The so-called ‘red degeneration’ can cause quite a lot of pain. If it happens, it will still have to be managed conservatively. Delivery could also pose a challenge as such a big fibroid could interfere with the position of the baby or uterine contractility making operative delivery (caesarean section) more likely.

More questions and answers on the next page

Extended breech

Extended breech is the type mostly affected by hip joints problems. 1 in 5 breech babies could be affected to varying degrees.