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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

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Overweight and planning to conceive

Question:  I am 28 yrs old 5 foot 7 inch height, 97 kgs. I lost 10 kgs recently and continuing on the weight reduction. I am married for 4 yrs and my husband is very scared to plan my pregnancy for my weight. I am medically completely fit and I am on planning my first pregnancy. Please advice if I am having a very high risk on planning with this weight.Will i have problems in conception because of my weight. B. (UK)


Answer: At that weight, your BMI is just over 33. You are therefore classified as being clinically obese. There are issues with conception and pregnancy when you are obese. I’m sure you have studied these here and quite possibly from other sources. Those are genuine potential problems and it will be dishonest on my part to be dismissive about those. However, it is important to take everything in perspective. Most obese women will have uneventful pregnancies. Nonetheless, their relative risk of having the various complications listed is significantly higher. I note that you ‘recently’ lost 10 kg. That is quite remarkable and it means you can do this. It is not clear from your question how long it took you to lose this and how you did it.


Losing weight is a real challenge and many people find the task too much for them. However, I get the impression that you are highly motivated and have clear goals in mind. You are also young and have time on your side. If you were able to lose another 11 kg in a reasonable period of time, you will no longer be obese and you will be significantly healthier to embark upon this quest. Ultimately, this is a question that you have to settle with your other half. If you rammed this pregnancy down his throat and, God forbid, things went seriously wrong, it could generate lasting bitterness and damage a precious relationship.




Air travel in the third trimester of pregnancy

Question: i am pregnant and looking to go away in July. I will be around 30-32 weeks. Previous i have gave birth 7 weeks early. Will i be able to fly at this far in my pregnancy ? D.N. (UK)


Answer: You have raised two issues here: Whether it will be OK for you to fly well into the third trimester of your pregnancy and two; your history of previous pre-term delivery at 33 weeks. Regarding the timing of your travel, this is something that you will need to check with both the airline and the insurance company. Airlines have different cut-off points for their passengers and these tend to differ depending on whether it is a short-haul or long-haul flight. Also travel insurance policies will have specific stipulations about stages of pregnancy. The whole subject of flying during pregnancy is discussed in greater detail here:


Regarding your history of pre-term delivery, it is certainly the case that women who have had pre-term delivery in the past, especially if labour was spontaneous and unexplained, are at a significantly higher risk of this happening again. It could also be earlier than before. If I was the obstetrician looking after you in this pregnancy, I would advise against this planned travel at that stage of your pregnancy.



Vaginal spotting in early viable pregnancy

Question:  Hi, I am 7 weeks pregnant. I am bleeding from last 2 weeks. Actually it is like spotting sometimes brown or red only visible when wiping. I had a ultrasound at 6 weeks 4 days. It showed fetal pole, gestation sack, yolk sack and flickering heart. Midwife said the result is normal and bleeding cause can not be explained. Can you please tell me what is happening? is it possible to me to carry on my pregnancy? Please help me. B.G. (UK)


Answer: Your midwife is right. The scan results are normal in the sense that it is showing a viable pregnancy of expected gestation in the correct location. It is also true that any vaginal bleeding, however light, at that stage of the pregnancy is classified as a threatened miscarriage. You do not need to do anything as you cannot really influence events. The vast majority of threatened miscarriages eventually resolve and continue to Term. Until then, the best advice is to carry on as normal. ...and no; rest is of no benefit.




Identifying conception point in the time-line

Question:  My girlfriend gave birth on 7 august 2008. Dating scan told us it would be 21 august. When do you think intercourse took place that caused this pregnancy? T.L. (UK)


Answer: There are a few ‘Ifs’ in my answer so bear those in mind. If your partner’s dating scan was done early; that’s, in the first trimester and if she has a fairly regular cycle of around 28 days, give or take a few days, then you can reliably pinpoint the date of conception to within three or four days (either way).


Counting backwards, using the given Expected Date of Delivery (EDD) of August the 21st, the last menstrual period would have started on or around the 14th of November 2007. Conception would have taken place about two weeks after that, around the 28th of November, give or take about 3 days either way. The most likely point of conception will therefore fall between the 25th of November and the 1st of December 2007.




Planning a pregnancy in the absence of menstrual periods

Question:  No periods for 10 months. Is a baby out of the question with IVF? S. (UK)


Answer: Your question is too brief and devoid of detail for me to give you a meaningful answer. However, I will try: I do not know how old you are and whether this absence of periods is regarded or confirmed to be the beginning of menopause. If that is the case, then IVF by using your own eggs is completely out of the question. It is not possible to stimulate ovaries that have ceased to produce eggs naturally. However, you can still have assisted conception using a donor egg.


If  you are relatively young (under 40) and the absence of your periods has yet to be investigated; that is the first thing to do. There are several other causes of periods stopping apart from menopause. Some of these are disease conditions that may require medical intervention. Most of the other causes of absent periods (secondary amenorrhoea) are hormonal and are relatively easy to investigate and treat.





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