©pregnancy-bliss.co.uk. 2007-2015 All rights reserved
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Digg
Share on Google Bookmarks
Share on Reddit
Share via e-mail

Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Vitamin B12 deficiency and birth defects

Question:  Can B12 deficiency in pregnancy cause birth defects? M.M  (USA)

Answer: Severe Vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy is rare. This is because the vitamin is usually stored in abundance in the body. It is also the case that severe deficiency of this Vitamin, typically seen in strict vegans, does cause sub-fertility. A woman with that level of deficiency will find it difficult to conceive. Tests for the sub-fertility will normally identify the problem and lead to its correction.

For those women who manage to conceive despite the severe deficiency, there is evidence of increased risk of fetal abnormalities including Neural tube defects such as spina bifida and other neurological abnormalities. Mild B12 deficiency has not been associated with these problems. Another aspect of this deficiency is discussed here:

Using a CTG machine in pregnancy

Question: I wish to find out who can operated on a CTG machine on a pregnant woman.  Gynae, nurse, midwife?  Must these people go through any course or lesson to operate the machine? M. (Singapore)

Answer: The management of labour varies from country to country. At a basic level, it is important that any professional looking after a pregnant woman and using machinery to aid the process knows what the device is telling them. CTG monitoring is a dynamic process and therefore that person must be able to interpret the readings as they happen and their implications. It requires training. In the UK, midwives are trained to use the CTG machine and to interpret their readings. It may be different in other countries. Obstetricians are, of-course, trained in interpreting the readings.

Ovarian cyst in pregnancy

Question:  I was having symptoms & suspected an ovarian cyst prior to becoming pregnant. Pregnancy ultrasound confirmed this. I am 21 weeks & often can still feel twinges. What is the likelihood of it disappearing by itself & could it be sinister? R.F. (UK)

Answer: Sinister ovarian cysts are quite uncommon  in the younger age group. However, in your specific case I have far too little information to be specific. As a rule of thumb, the vast majority of ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms. You have not clarified on the symptoms you were having and I am not sure that those will be related to the ‘cyst’ found on your scan.

Another rule of thumb is that, the overwhelming majority of cysts found during pregnancy are what are described as ‘simple’. These rarely require any intervention. You have not said what size your cyst is but relatively small ones (less than 5 cm) tend to resolve spontaneously. If it is a large one (over 10 cm), you are likely to be advised to have it surgically removed once you have had your baby.

Air travel in early pregnancy

Question: I'm only 4 weeks pregnant and due to on on holiday to Portugal in a weeks time, should I fly?  C.M. (UK)

Answer: I cannot see any reason for any concern about flying at such an early stage of pregnancy. It should not affect the pregnancy in any way and being a relatively short flight, it shouldn't affect you either. There are more details on the general issue of flying while pregnant here:

Positive pregnancy test after a miscarriage

Question: How long after a miscarriage can pregnancy hormone be detected? M.M. (UK)

Answer: If a miscarriage is complete or if you have a surgical evacuation of the uterus after a miscarriage, pregnancy hormones clear very rapidly from your system and a pregnancy test will revert to negative within a few days, certainly within a week. If, on the other end, miscarriage is incomplete, whereby some placental tissue is retained in the womb cavity, the hormones can be detected for much longer than that, even a few weeks.

A much less common cause of a persistently positive pregnancy test after a miscarriage is trophoblastic disease such as molar pregnancy, discussed in detail here:

Pregnancy after a termination of pregnancy

Question: Hi; i am in the very early stage of pregnacy, i have a dark brown colur on and off, not bleeding, sometimes its clear sometimes its not. i had a termination 7 weeks ago but got pregnant again. I’m worried if there is anything wrong with this pregnancy.  L.P. (UK)

Answer: Your recent termination should have no bearing at all on your current pregnancy. If you are having that kind of vaginal discharge, you need to arrange an urgent appointment with your GP who, in turn, will arrange an ultrasound scan for you to check what is going on with this pregnancy.

Identifying a phantom pregnancy

Question: How do i know if it’s a phantom pregnancy or if I’m really pregnant ?? I really need help to find out if I’m really pregnant or not as i get very upset and does any one know the difference between them? V. (UK)

Answer: It is quite easy to find out whether you are pregnant for real: Just do a pregnancy test at home. If this is positive, then you are. In a phantom pregnancy a pregnancy test is always negative.

Remember, if what prompted your question is missed periods, there could be other causes of this. In such a case and with a negative pregnancy test, I would suggest that you see your doctor.

More questions and answers on the next page

You  got a question? Click Here:


It is important that any professional using a CTG machine is trained on how to use the device and can interpret the readings correctly.