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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics


Sex and twin pregnancy

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 here.


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 (non-pill) cycle.

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.

Wishing you the best.





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