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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Treating Group B Strep in pregnancy

Question: I am 7 weeks pregnant and have been put on a course of antibiotics for strep b. Is this antibiotic considered to be safe in pregnancy and do i have any reason to be concerned? C.C. (UK)

Answer: I cannot really answer your question because you didn't give the name of the antibiotic you have been prescribed. If it is a penicillin, as I suspect; that is perfectly safe to use in pregnancy. I must say I am rather surprised that you have been given an antibiotic for Group B Strep. That is not a common practice anymore. What is usually done is to give you an antibiotic cover during labour as treating during pregnancy is of dubious value as detailed here:

Using the ‘Morning-After’ Pill

Question: I took the after pill, and had a normal period and then a few weeks later found out i was pregnant. Didn’t the after pill work? Or do you think i got pregnant after? S. (UK)

Answer: I think the ‘Morning-After’ pill (emergency contraceptive) worked alright. If you had a period after taking the morning-after pill, you most likely conceived in the following cycle. You should arrange with your GP to have an ultrasound scan to determine the actual gestation. That should give you clarity as to when exactly you conceived.

DNA Test for paternity

Question: A girl i slept with two months ago says that she is pregnant but she does not know who the father is as she slept with me and another guy within the space of a week. To be exact there is 80 hrs between her sleeping with the other guy and her sleeping with me. Is there any test we can do to determine what date she fell pregnant and if so how accurate is it and how does it work?  Any information u can give on this matter will be much appreciated S.(UK)

Answer: The one most reliable pregnancy dating test is an ultrasound scan. However, that does not have sufficient sensitivity to determine point of conception within such a tight tiDNA Test for paternityme capsule (three days).

The only way I see that can give you clarity is if her early scan (which should be done within the next few days) shows that conception occurred much earlier than your dates or much later. That will mean neither of you is the father. Remember that is a possibility. If the scan confirms that she conceived within your time-frame, you will only get your answer after she has delivered. That is, with a DNA test.

Perils facing identical twins

Question: I was pregnant with identical twins. Utilizing the IVF this is found out very early in pregnancy; in my case week 3.  I was two days from completing my 12 weeks pregnancy when at a regular weekly check up there were no heartbeats.  These were the same two fetuses that we would see week after week being extremely active.  The doctor said that it appeared the cords had tangled. On the vaginal sonogram the enlarged placenta was visible which was bout the same size as the fetuses. This was two months ago. Now i am back with the in vitro doctor which tells me a tissue sample should have been performed to see if any other causes caused this.. What other things could cause the placenta to swell like that. N.M. (USA)

Answer: The sort of freak accident that occurred last time is so rare that it is a sure bet that it cannot happen again. The combination of events (identical twins, single sac, cord entanglement in first trimester) is so unlikely that, on that basis alone, your chances of a successful conclusion of any future successful conception are significantly higher. Of course it is important for me to resist the temptation to tell you what I know you may want to hear. That will be dishonest because we pronounce prognosis on a balance of probabilities rather than a crystal-ball.

I do agree with your specialist that more thorough tests should have been done to get a clear picture of what happened. However, at 12 weeks gestation, the conclusion reached (cord entanglement) was most likely correct. I do sincerely hope you have a successful cycle and everything goes well this time.

Placental lakes and echogenic bowel on a scan

Question: Please could you tell me what 10% placental lakes means and also "the bowel looks very moderately echogenic". These were findings of my 22 weeks scan. Thank you for your time. S.B. (UK)

Answer: Placental lakes are a common feature in pregnancy ultrasound scans and have no clinical significance. They are really pools of blood and are a normal variant of placental architecture. In the third trimester, practically all placentas will have 'lakes' in them.

Echogenic bowel refers to increased brightness of the bowel. About 1 in 100 babies will be found to have echogenic bowel in mid-trimester scans. In the vast majority of cases, there is nothing wrong with the baby. Moderate echogenicity refers to what is otherwise termed as Grade 2 echogenicity, meaning the bowel brightness is similar to that of the liver but less than that of bone.

In very few cases, echogenic bowel, especially when seen with other 'soft-tissue markers' could indicate that the baby is possibly affected by a genetic or chromosomal condition (such as cystic fibrosis or Down's syndrome). However, in the absence of accompanying other soft-tissue markers, this is very unlikely. Some viral infections can also cause this finding. All in all, this report appears innocent.  In any case, if you are concerned about the scan findings, it will be a good idea to arrange a meeting with your obstetrician to discuss this.

More questions and answers on the next page

If a woman has sexual liaison with two different men within a couple of days or so, only a DNA Test after the child’s birth can confirm paternity.