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
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
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
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.