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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Time for a pregnancy test

Question: I am  a obese lady and I am planning for pregnancy for the first time. I have missed my period by few days but i have light brownish bleeding thrice.It doesn't appear to be periods but i have abdominal pain that i get during my periods.Iam weak and tired.What should i infer from this symptom. Should i consult a doctor? Please advice. B. (UK)

Answer: It is difficult to say. If missing a period is unusual for you, the best course of action would be to perform a pregnancy test. Several days after your period was due, a pregnancy test will be almost certainly positive if you are pregnant. If you get a positive pregnancy test, you should arrange to see your GP urgently because light vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy is regarded as a threatened miscarriage. A prompt ultrasound scan will be arranged to clarify the picture. Your body weight has no direct relevance to your current symptoms.

Dates and scan findings do not match

Question: I started bleeding 6 days ago at 10 weeks and 2 days pregnancy. Although my bleeding has stopped since yesterday i am very worried. The Doctor who did an internal scan said the pregnancy on the right is showing up at 6 weeks, what does that mean? also I haven't had intercourse since January and my unborn baby is still alive as the Doctor said she would check again next week to see if the baby has grown another week. I don’t know what to be thinking, can you help me to understand what I've been told? S. (Ireland)

Answer: This is a puzzling picture. By your dates you reckon you are over 10 weeks into this pregnancy. The scan you have just had says the pregnancy measures 6 weeks. You think you cannot have conceived later than January 09 because you have not had sex since then. In theory, on the basis of your sexual history, you cannot have a pregnancy that is less than 10 weeks. If I were to take the 31st of January as the latest date you had sex, even if you had conceived on that last day of the month, your pregnancy would be almost 11 weeks (counting from the last period assumed to have happened in mid-January).

If I were to work on the premise that the scan is right and your recollection is wrong, a pregnancy calculated to be six weeks on the scan now will, in effect have been conceived the second week of last month (around 4 weeks ago). If you think that is impossible on the basis of your sexual history, you need to have this looked at again. However, I suspect your doctors will insist on waiting for a week to check for ongoing viability and the expected one week growth.  If you are absolutely certain about your dates and, crucially, if you performed a pregnancy test after missing your period in February (and if it was positive), that will be a cause for considerable concern for the well-being of this baby. I hope it works out OK in the end for you.

Weight gain and phantom pregnancy

Question:  I have just read the article on phantom pregnancies what I'd like to know is in your experience has the reversed ever happened whereby a person accepts she is not pregnant but her body then goes on to produce steroids and so consequently the weight spirals out of control?  S.S. (UK)

Answer: It is important that we do not confuse unrelated subjects. Excessive weight gain is not a feature of Phantom pregnancy. Phantom pregnancy is principally a psychological problem where the affected woman has no doubt that she is pregnant. The symptoms that she feels are therefore similar to those of a pregnant woman. These may include lethargy, morning sickness and even perceived fetal movements. There may be gaseous abdominal distension and usually periods are absent. Sometimes, when a period occurs, she will present to her doctors saying she is worried she is having a miscarriage. The diagnosis may be made at this point.

There are conditions, completely unrelated to Phantom pregnancy, where the body might produce an excess of some steroids which can lead to absence of periods and weight gacushing'sin. One such condition is called Cushing’s syndrome. The steroid (Cortisol) in this case is produced by the adrenal glands. The weight gain can be particularly rapid and affects the trunk and the face whilst sparing the limbs. It is a potentially serious condition. If you or somebody you know has the clinical features you have described, I would urge them to see their doctor promptly.

Twin pregnancy and correct diet

Question:  I am carrying twins. i am in 12th week. How should i have my diet? P. (India)

Answer: Congratulations on your good news.
There is really no special dietary measures required specifically because of a twin pregnancy. It is, however, recommended that you take Folic acid supplements because of the significantly increased demand for this vitamin. Other than that, just ensure you eat a sensible healthy diet, just as you would with a singleton pregnancy.

Retained placenta after the birth

Question:  I’m going to have my third child. With my second, my placenta got stuck. Wot’s the chances it will happen again? S. (UK)

Answer: It is true that the risk of having a retained placenta is increased somewhat if you have had this before. It is therefore advised that you have an active management f the third stage of labour as long as there are no contra-indications to do that. That will simply involve having an injection of syntometrine (or similar) soon as the baby's shoulder is delivered. This will minimize (but not completely eliminate) the risk of having a retained placenta again. I am sure your midwife or doctor will discuss this with you in detail.

More questions and answers on the next page

Weight gain in Cushing’s syndrome can be quite rapid. It tends to be concentrated on the trunk and face.