Question: I am 16 weeks pregnant with twins and I have heard that it is not safe
to have sex during a twin pregnancy is this true? S.M. (UK)
Answer: There is absolutely no truth in that claim. Sex during a pregnancy carries
no risk to the pregnancy, be it a singleton, twins or more. Penetrative sex is advised
against in cases of placenta praevia (discussed here) and that is the case regardless
of the number of babies you are carrying. In the absence of that problem, there is
no reason to worry about sex during pregnancy.
Painful tightenings at 39 weeks
Question: I am 39 weeks pregnant and am having tight pains i think there contractions
its my second pregnancy so far i haven't had a show and the pains are all over the
place at the moment so I’m not sure what to do. J. (UK)
Answer: I’m not sure whether the situation would have moved on by the time you read
this reply. The standard advice for the sort of situation you find yourself in is
to contact your local maternity unit. You will be invited to go in so you can be
assessed to see whether you are going into labour. It is possible that this could
turn out to be false labour but there is nothing to lose in getting this verified.
I would urge you to do that
Missed miscarriage or blighted ovum?
Question: i have just had a D&C followig a successful (or so we thought) cycle of
ICSI. First scan showed a pregnancy sac with a clear blob but no heartbeat. a second
scan confirmed the pregnancy had failed resulting in he D&C. on the forms completed
by the doctor before surgery it was recorded as a blighted ovum but on the letter
given to my GP it was noted as a missed miscarriage. why would there be 2 different
diagnosis? i know a blighted ovum is where no baby occurred at all but info on MM
says a baby did form but stopped. how do i know which was right? was the round
blob a baby in the sac or what was this? S.H. (UK)
Answer: I am sorry to hear of your sad news. I fully understand how how this sort
of apparently conflicting information can add to the distress. It is, however, true
that in very early pregnancy failure, these two diagnoses are occasionally used interchangeably.
Strictly speaking, that shouldn't happen but in practice one could have some difficulty
being certain whether it is one or the other. This is particularly the case when
the pregnancy fails around the 5 weeks mark when it may be difficult identifying
the contents of the tiny sac on the scan. If, on subsequent scans, it is found that
the pregnancy has in fact failed, confirming whether the pregnancy was viable at
some very early stage can be difficult.
Having said all that, there is, strictly
speaking, no difference between the two. This is the reason why: The two diagnoses
represent spontaneous early pregnancy failure; the only difference is the stage when
it occurs. For a blighted ovum, the failure is at a very early embryonic stage. This
is why nothing is seen inside the sac on a scan. A missed miscarriage represents
a later failure, usually of a formed fetus. As a rule, if a fetal heart pulsation
had been seen on a scan, any subsequent disappearance of this will mean the diagnosis
is missed miscarriage.
I hope that helps bring some clarity to your situation.
Fibroids, early pregnancy and long travel
Question: i am 6 weeks pregnant,the doctor saids that i have fibroids,i want to know
is it safe for me to travel by car or aeroplane,to a place 1400 km away,next week.
Z.E. (South Africa)
Answer: The presence of fibroids in your womb will not have any impact whatsoever
on your plans to travel during your pregnancy. They should not feature at all as
a consideration. Issues to consider with regard to flying while pregnant are discussed
Are they pregnancy symptoms?
Question: During my break from my pill I have normal withdrawal periods but this
month I had a pretty scatty irregular period. Now I have breast tenderness, larger
breasts and nausea. Could I be pregnant? E.T. (UK)
Answer: I will cut to the chase: The only sure way of getting a definitive answer
to your query is to perform a pregnancy test. You do have symptoms mildly suggestive
of a possible pregnancy, but then these can be experienced in the end part of a normal
I am afraid I cannot be more illuminating, nor can anybody else. If a 'proper' period
has not arrived; it is time to do that test.
Missed ectopic pregnancy diagnosis?
Question: Hi, i had light bleeding 2 days ago an internal scan found baby's heartbeat
and doctor said it was a strong heartbeat, they also found a what they thought was
a cyst on my ovary and said they would monitor its size. i have started bleeding
again 2 days later and i slight cramps in my tummy. could i be miscarrying or could
it be that the cyst they thought on my ovary is actually an ectopic pregnancy?? They
did find the pregnancy sac in my womb and the baby's heartbeat was fine... midwives
have just told me to keep an eye on the bleeding. Thanks. C. (UK)
Answer: You did not tell me the stage of the pregnancy. Nonetheless, if there was
a confirmed intrauterine pregnancy, the chances of you having an ectopic pregnancy
as well are very slim indeed. It does happen but it’s rare.
I think the ovarian cyst is just that and should not concern you too much at this
stage. What you were advised is the standard approach for incidental finding of simple-looking
ovarian cysts during pregnancy.
You have features of a threatened miscarriage. The vital statistic to bear in mind
is that, in the first trimester, 90% of threatened miscarriages will resolve and
carry on as normal.