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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics


Vaginal discharge with missed miscarriage

Question:  You mentioned that a possible sign of a missed miscarriage is a light blood-stained or dark-brown vaginal discharge, is this a one off discharge or should it be expected for a few days in a row? J. (UK)


Answer: The majority of cases of missed miscarriage will have no symptoms. However, when there is this type of vaginal discharge, it tends to be a rather persistent symptom, continuing over a number of days. Of-course, in the majority of cases, the first time it appears, it will cause sufficient concern that it is reported immediately and the diagnosis made soon thereafter. A history of several days of such a discharge is therefore unusual for that reason.




Establishing gestation after a miscarriage

Question: I had a miscarriage at home. First came out a sac. Hours later a mass. It was around 2 inches long. Last sonogram indicated that I was 6 weeks. I think it was too big for six weeks, and I have seen pictures of fetuses and it does not look to what I expelled. B. (USA)


Answer: If I understand you correctly, you think there is a discrepancy  between what the ultrasound estimated and what you have passed during the miscarriage. There are plausible explanations for that. A scan at such an early stage of the pregnancy is very accurate in establishing the correct gestation. The margin of error is no more than a couple of days. I find it difficult to see how they could have got that wrong.


I am a little confused by the description of what you have experienced: You said you passed a sac that was about 2 inches long and then passed a ‘mass’ hours later. Is it your impression that the mass was actually the fetus? That is doubtful. If you passed the sac, it means it was intact and the fetus will be inside that sac. You really wouldn’t be expected to make it out. The mass that came after was most probably early placental tissue mixed with a blood clot.  A 2 inch (50 mm) sac, if your estimates are correct, is a relatively large sac. At six weeks, the sac is around 16-20 mm and it will not reach the 50 mm mark until about 4 weeks later (it grows at an average rate of 1 mm per day). I cannot, therefore, give you clarity on this but I am sure there is an innocent explanation. Your doctor, who has more details, should be able to put your mind to rest.





Fondling breasts and premature labour

Question:  I was told by other women who have been pregnant, that fondling of the breasts can bring on premature labor.  how true is this?  and how would fondling breasts cause premature labor? H. (USA)



Answer: I can state categorically that breast fondling does not and cannot bring about premature labor or delivery. However, this loose myth is out there. It is based on the fact that massaging of breasts can stimulate production of a small amount of the hormone oxytocin. This is the hormone responsible for contractions during labor.


However, this extrapolation is simplistic to the extreme. For one, breast massaging when not pregnant or in the first 8 months of pregnancy does not elicit this response. Additionally, there are actually no active oxytocin receptors in the womb at this time and therefore, even if you were to somehow get the oxytocin, it won't be able to act as there are no active receptors. What you heard is a myth. treat it as such.




Amoxycillin safe in pregnancy

Question: I have a urine infection. Can I take Amoxicillin during a pregnancy. Is it safe or can harm a baby? N.T. (UK)


Answer: this is one of the commonest questions we receive. Testament to the fact that it is an antibiotic prescribed a lot in pregnancy. Yes indeed, like all ‘Penicillins’, Amoxycillin is safe to use at any stage of a pregnancy. It is safe.




Who is the father?

Question:  Hi I'm now 18 weeks and 1 day pregnant! I'm not too sure who is the father of my unborn child! I had sex with my boyfriend just a couple of days before my period started. My period started on the **/**?**** (4½ months ago)! Then like around the 6th or 7th (three weeks later) I had sex wid someone else but he didn't cum! Then the next week I had sex wid my boyfriend then again wid this guy! A week later I found out I'm pregnant then I go for a scan 8 days after my period was due and the doctor says I'm 5weeks and 3days pregnant! How do I know who's the father? K. (UK)


Answer: You can discount the sex you had before your period. It is irrelevant. If your cycle is usually around 28 days, (give or take a few days) then the sex you had with ‘the other guy’ on the 6th/7th is the one that most likely resulted in conception. It is the one closest to the mid-cycle when you would normally ovulate. That date is also completely consistent with your first scan findings. The fact that your partner did not ejaculate is also not very important because some sperm is produced and passed before orgasm takes place.


In reality though, you are very unlikely to definitively establish the real father until the baby is born. This just gives you the balance of probability.




Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy: Always abnormal.

Question: I'm six weeks pregnant and I've just started to bleed, is that normal? S. (UK)


Answer: No bleeding in pregnancy can be described as normal. What you are experiencing is what is termed as a threatened miscarriage. The good news is that 90% of those resolve successfully. However, you need to be seen at your local hospital for an ultrasound scan as a matter of priority.




Trying to conceive when you are older

Question: I am 37 years old and have some fibroids,i would like to know all the risks if i decided to become pregnant, age and fibroids. Thanks. A.P. (UK)


Answer: When you go past your mid 30's, the risk of your baby being affected by one of the many chromosomal disorders increases substantially. These include conditions like Down's syndrome which is the commonest chromosomal disorder compatible with life. The risk of having a baby with Down’s syndrome at your age of 37 is around 1:200. This compares with 1:1200 ten years earlier at 27 and a much higher 1:85 only 3 years from now when you will be 40.


Apart from the above, your ovulation also becomes less regular meaning it becomes increasingly difficult for you to conceive naturally.


Regarding fibroids, these tend to be of little or no relevance in the vast majority of cases. We have discussed this in greater detail here

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