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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Missed periods, negative pregnancy tests

Question:  I have not yet been able to get an appointment at my doctors but am hoping to this week.  I have been on the pill for about a year after the birth of my daughter, I am on cerazette which I’m to take constantly and don’t have a break, I subsequently don't have periods. Over the holidays (two months ago) I ran out of pills and couldn't get more.  I went to the doctors asap and got my prescription but had to wait until I had a period before re-starting the pill. If I have ever missed a pill before I will always have a bleed the next day or so, even if its only 1 pill, my periods have always been regular yet I still haven't had a period.  I put it down to just being on the pill for so long yet I keep feeing nauseous, I have done 2 tests, one only last week which were both negative, again I put it down to being on the pill but this week I have twice felt my skin tightening on my tummy which is a feeling I have only ever felt when pregnant and the baby moves.  I am no longer in a relationship so I know that if I were pregnant I would be at least 16 weeks pregnant.  Is it possible to be pregnant and have negative tests? and can I have a blood test to see if I am pregnant as this is starting to play on my mind.  Other than despite losing weight my clothes still feel tight, I have had no other symptoms. I look forward to hearing your comments. M. (UK)

Answer: The explanation of the situation is probably simple and straight-forward. There are two likely explanations: You are either experiencing post-pill amenorrhoea (absence of periods) which is not uncommon or you are pregnant. It is possible to have a falsely negative pregnancy test. In any case, if the period has not arrived and the pregnancy test remains negative, a pelvic ultrasound scan will settle the question. There are other potential explanations for missing periods in the absence of pregnancy but they are not common.

Sex after a miscarriage and chances of conception

Question:  After loss a baby when the bleeding stop and i had sex could i get pregnant again? C. (UK)

Answer: Following a miscarriage, ovulation resumes in about 4 weeks or so. Sometimes it is earlier than that. It is therefore possible to conceive as early as that even if bleeding has not stopped completely.

CTG use in the UK

Question:  When were CTG's first in general use in the UK? R.E. (UK)

Answer: Britain was an early adopter of this technology. By the mid-1970s, most women in the UK were being monitored using CTG in labour.

Ectopic pregnancy and fetal survival

Question: With an ectopic pregnancy where the tube has started to repture what are the chances of the fetus still having a heartbeat at that time? A. (UK)

Answer: A tubal pregnancy, by its very nature, is in a precarious state. The fetus dies very quickly (within minutes) once the blood supply is disrupted. This is what happens when the tubal rupture process starts. On occasions, a diagnosis of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy is made where the fetus is still clearly viable with a distinct heartbeat. This is seen when the tube is intact and rupture is not imminent. This finding is uncommon. In a tubal ectopic pregnancy, the fetus has no chance of survival.

After 3 caesarean sections: How safe is another pregnancy?

Question:  I have already had three babies born by c section. It has been 5 years since my last baby, is it safe for me to have another baby? Could I die if I have another baby? E.C. (UK)

Answer: Contrary to popular belief, there is no set number of caesarean sections that is considered safe beyond which a woman shouldn't go. The interval is also of little relevance. Since it is a surgical procedure, the more of these you have, the more the potential for future complications. If there was no identified problem at your last caesarean, then it is probably safe for you to embark upon another pregnancy.

The main concern is usually the possibility of uterine rupture or scar dehiscence. This can occur after a single caesarean and it may not happen even after half a dozen caesarean sections. It varies that much.

To get an objective advice relevant to your particular circumstances, I would advise that you arrange to have your last caesarean surgical notes reviewed by your local obstetrician.

Generalised itchy rash in late pregnancy

Question:  im 36 weeks pregnant had the test for obstetric cholestasis and my liver is fine. I’m waiting for the acid test, but i have a rash that has taken over my body kind of looks like chicken pox all over my hands up my arms over my chest and over the top of my tummy. All I’ve been given is creams to stop the itching but nothing works from piriton to steroid cream has failed. A. (UK)

Answer: It sounds like you have what is known as Pemphigoid gestationis (picture below, right). pemphigoid gestationis

This is an immunological skin condition confined to pregnancy. There is no treatment for this but this resolves completely within a few weeks of delivery.

Expressing breast milk in the absence of pregnancy or childbirth

Question:  If you are having a phantom pregnancy is it possible that you can still express breast milk? M.C. (UK)

Answer: Expression of breast milk is not a feature of 'Phantom Pregnancy'. A woman who experiences absence of periods and expressing milk is more likely to be having a condition known as 'hyperprolactinaemia'.  In this condition, there is an over-production of the hormone prolactin. This is the hormone responsible for milk production. This needs to be investigated for by her doctor.

More questions and answers on the next page

The pemphigoid rash in pregnancy can be generalised and intensely itchy. It resolves fully after delivery but risk of recurrence in subsequent pregnancies is high