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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Slow ‘labour’ going on for days.

Question:  My daughter is 38 weeks pregnant. for about 5 days now she has been having strong regular contractions for periods of an hour or two several times a day. At times the contractions are so painful that they wake her at night. In addition she has menstrual like pain and low backache. I was watching one of her contractions yesterday and you could clearly see the baby being pushed down in her abdomen by the contraction.

The problem is that these contractions keep fading away and then returning. From experience I don't believe these are Braxton Hicks contractions, they are much too strong and regular. The hospital have been very unsympathetic, we asked if she could be examined to see if she is dilating but they refused just saying when the time comes she will know about it!

My concern is that she has been diagnosed with Pre-eclampsia and her protein level is ++++. Surely it is dangerous to both her and the baby to continue like this? I believe she is in slow labour, do you think this might be the case? T. (UK)

Answer: This is a difficult time for your daughter. However, I have to come out with my honest considered professional opinion: No; your daughter is not in slow labour.  The concept of what you describe, of a slow-burn labour continuing for days without actually establishing simply does not exist. The mechanism of labour does not work that way. With five days of that going on, it can’t even be described as a latent phase of labour. It is not possible for me to comment on what you described as pre-eclampsia. I somehow cannot comprehend any doctor ignoring clinical features suggestive of pre-eclampsia. You have mentioned heavy protein loss in her urine but is her blood pressure up? If it is not, the that cannot be pre-eclampsia. Seeing your own daughter going through a seemingly endless painful experience can be quite distressing. This is particularly so when you feel powerless to help her. However, I think this is a case where doctors and midwives are truly keeping their hands off for a valid reason and that is the mother’s and baby’s own well-being.

Unrecognised chlamydia infection over a prolonged period

Question: i have recently found out that my partner has chlamydia. I have been with him for about 17 months now and neither of us have been with anybody else while we have been together, but before we did get together i was with somebody and caught the infection and took the antibiotics and it cleared, i got tested to make sure it had definitely gone. Also ma partner was with somebody before me and never got tested until just recently. i have been tested but don't yet have the results back. if i do have the infection again what would be the chances of us having children after having the infection all this time and not knowing about it? F.E. (UK)

Answer:  It is impossible to know how long you might have had the infection (if indeed you do). The longer you carry this infection, the more likely it could have affected your fallopian tubes. The only way you are going to remove the uncertainty is to arrange an appointment with your local gynaecologist whereby a test to check the tubal status can be arranged.

Unusual unexplained general symptoms in the third trimester

Question:  I feel so uncomfortable am 32 weeks and every time i eat i have trouble with my bowels were i need pass stool but go dizzy and hot mainly in the mornings i feel as i can’t sit for long i can’t lie down just feel very uncomfortable i have had two other children and i have never had this before please give me any advice i am still working and find this very hard  J. (UK)

Answer: Your described symptoms are so non-specific that I find myself at a loss to give you any meaningful explanation or advice. If you are sure they are not just normal late pregnancy features, you need to arrange to be seen by your local obstetrician to try to find out the cause. A self-limiting viral infection could cause similar symptoms but that tends to resolve within days.

Persistently positive pregnancy test after a termination

Question: i was 9 wks pregnant but had a termination nearly 10 days ago. I had the Mirena coil fitted during the operation, i stopped bleeding after 3 days. i still didn’t feel the best and was still gagging which worried me so i bought another pregnancy test which shows a positive. Can this be right considering i have the coil fitted and only had the termination 10 days ago or is it more likely that the Hcg that was in my system while i was pregnant is still there as I’ve read that it can take a few wks for Hcg to leave your body? G. (Ireland)

Answer: Your assumption is most likely correct. Most modern pregnancy test kits are quite sensitive and will continue detecting hCG for several days after the pregnancy has ended. To be absolutely certain I would advise that you repeat the test again. It should certainly be negative by now. If you are still feeling nauseous and the pregnancy test is again positive, please arrange an urgent appointment with your doctor for appropriate imaging investigations (ultrasound) to verify what is going on.

How soon can I do a pregnancy test?

Question:  Can you please help me I’m scared i have unprotected sex with my boyfriend for the first time we never do that i took the pill straight after its been 2 weeks how long do i wait until i can do pregnancy test please help me. A. (UK)

Answer: To have a reliable result, it is best to wait until when your period is due and do the test a couple of days after that date. That is, if the period does not arrive. Of-course if you get your period there is no need to do the test. If your periods are usually unreliable, you should do the test three weeks or so after the date you had sex.

Left sided abdominal pain in early pregnancy

Question:  Hello, I’m pregnant about 12 weeks,tonight i wake up from pain in my left side,then i went to toilet,its stopped,and in the morning the same.. i still feel not very nice feeling in my left side. A. (UK)

Answer: I am not sure whether you have already had your booking scan. If so, you will have established that the pregnancy is in the correct place. That rules out an ectopic pregnancy. If the pain is mid-way up on the side, it could be a kidney infection. On the other hand, it may be nothing at all. If you are feeling unwell on top of the pain, it is time to see your doctor for a proper evaluation of the symptoms.

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