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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Vaginal spotting after embryo transfer in IVF

Question:  I have had IVF treatment.  The fertilized egg has been transferred to me 2 weeks ago.  I have had a blood test today and the results are positive. Only tonight I had very little bleeding if anything about 4 to 5 drops at most, I am also having the normal period pain, and my period was due to come on the 7th of  March, is this something to worry about. Thank you. E.H. (UK)

Answer: This has got to be classified as a threatened miscarriage until proven otherwise. It may still be too early for an ultrasound scan to be of any use. Remember, two weeks after embryo transfer, you have a pregnancy that is equivalent to a 4 weeks natural conception pregnancy. A scan will not show anything tangible. If the spotting persists, doing serial blood tests (every two days) to quantify and track levels of the pregnancy hormone beta-hCG would be justified. In a week’s time, a scan will be useful. Good luck.

Inducing my own labour

Question:  I’m just wondering how i can induce labour myself as i am very uncomfortable and my stomach is very tight. E.S. (UK)

Answer: You have our sympathy on the extreme discomfort that can characterise the final stages of pregnancy. We have given our considered views on 'diy' labour induction here.

I would suggest you read that short summary and decide for yourself on how to proceed. My own view is that self labour induction very rarely works and is probably not a good idea. Have you spoken to your doctor/midwife? With best wishes.

Postnatal sex and risk of pregnancy

Question:  What if there's a sexual intercourse even before six weeks? Is there a possibility that i might get pregnant? M.R. (Philippines)

Answer: You did not clarify whether this is six weeks after a delivery or miscarriage. Following a delivery, it is very unusual (but not impossible) for ovulation to commence within the first 6 weeks even for someone who is not breast-feeding. It means therefore pregnancy ensuing is unlikely. Nonetheless, some form of contraception is always advised.

Following an early miscarriage, ovulation can occur within as early as four weeks and therefore pregnancy is possible during that time.

Could I still be pregnant?

Question: I found out i was pregnant 3 weeks ago then started bleeding shortly after so i thought i had lost the baby. I have done more tests today which say positive. Is it possible i am still pregnant? S. (UK)

Answer: Bleeding in early pregnancy is classified as threatened miscarriage. Up to a tenth of all pregnancy so affected will end up in miscarriage. However, 90% of all pregnancies where there is bleeding in the early phase do continue normally. Sometimes, bleeding in early pregnancy signify loss of one fetus in a twin pregnancy. The viability of the other fetus is not affected.  

It is also important to know that a pregnancy test can continue being positive for several days after a miscarriage has taken place. This is especially the case if it is what we call an incomplete miscarriage, meaning some pregnancy tissue is still retained in the womb cavity.

You could indeed be still pregnant. It is important that you contact your doctor promptly so an examination and possibly an ultrasound scan can be arranged to check for viability. This is, regardless of the extent of bleeding.

Antibiotic use in early pregnancy

Question:  My last period was end Jan when I started a course of a weeks antibiotics.  I am now pregnant.  Will the antibiotics have affected the egg prior to fertilization? S.H. (UK)

Answer: Antibiotics differ. Some are perfectly safe to use at any stage and others may not be so. It is therefore not possible to advise you on this unless you let us know the particular antibiotic you took. In any case, if you took the antibiotic, whichever it might be; at the end of January, and you seem to have conceived in the middle of February, there is negligible likelihood of any effect on the pregnancy.

Discomfort lower abdomen in late pregnancy

Question:  Hiya, I’m 35 weeks gone, and have been getting this really discomforting pain at the bottom of my uterus especially when I’m walking or lying down. My midwife thinks it could be the head engaging as its 4/5 already but I’m just paranoid that it hasn't got anything to do with a placenta eruption. I went hospital Saturday morning due to the pain and they said there wasn't a problem just gave me antibiotics for water infection. So id like some advise pls x. D. (UK)

Answer: It is exceedingly unlikely that placental abruption could be the cause of your pain/discomfort. If you have a confirmed water infection, that might very well be the cause. The location of the discomfort could also suggest Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), a fairly common problem at that stage of the pregnancy.

In any case, if you are concerned about your baby's well-being, you should speak to your midwife again as a matter of priority and, if appropriate, a scan can be arranged. It is not possible for me to be more specific for your case in view of the remote nature of this advice. With best wishes.

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