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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Pregnancy with sickle cell trait

Question:  I’m a sickle cell trait so is my partner and I’m pregnant at the moment so i really don’t know what the risks are and what can i do to better myself. P.G. (UK)

Answer: Individuals like yourself with sickle cell trait, in other words, carriers of the sickle cell gene, usually lead normal healthy lives. Sickling crises are rare and usually mild. This situation carries on even during pregnancy. No special measures are therefore required for sickle cell trait individuals, other than the general advice given when not pregnant. Additionally, you may be advised to take Folic acid. Labour is expected to be normal barring complications or challenges that can occur to anybody. The only caveat to that statement is when and if a general anaesthetic is required, for instance, in case of an emergency caesarean section. The anaesthetist will need to be aware of your status so as to take measures to avoid a low oxygen state that can trigger a sickling crisis. Other than that, pregnancy care is similar to everybody else’s.

With your partner being sickle cell trait too, I take it you would have had time to discuss with your doctor the baby’s prospects as far as sickle cell is concerned. If so, you will be aware that, there is a 1 in 4 chance the baby will have sickle cell disease (SCD); a 1 in 4 chance will be completely free of the defective gene and 1 in 2 (50%) chance that he/she will be like the parents, that is, sickle cell trait.

Distressing cough and effect on pregnancy

Question:  Hi I am 14 weeks and have been suffering from a continuous, hacking cough for the last 3 days, will it affect baby, is there anything i can do?

Answer:  Distressing as it might be for you, this cough will not affect the progress of your pregnancy in any way. This is most likely a self-limiting upper respiratory tract viral infection. Cough suppressants may help a little but their effect is marginal at best.

This is a miscarriage

Question:  I have had bleeding.  Some brown, some redder.  Had an internal scan.  Baby measured 7 wks but couldn't detect heartbeat.  (size matches dates)  Bleeding starts and stops.  Started Sat. Morning. M. (UK)

Answer: The picture you are painting is a real cause for concern. Not being to detect fetal heart activity at 7 weeks, especially with a vaginal scan, is not a good sign. This together with the intermittent vaginal bleeding may very well indicate possible miscarriage. I hope you will get clarity soon.

Pregnancy after a cervical cone biopsy

Question:  my friend has finally fell pregnant, she is approx 11-12 weeks. she had her cervix lasered and says she has no cervix. how will they "stitch" her to prevent miscarriage? E.E. (UK)

Answer: It sounds like your friend had either a 'cone biopsy' or loop excision of the cervix which has left her cervix flush with the vagina. This, in fact, does not create cervical weakness because the vital part of the neck of the womb (the endocervix) is not involved in the surgery. This is the important part of the cervix for the maintenance of the integrity of the pregnancy. A stitch (cervical cerclage) is therefore, on the face of it, not indicated.

The one potential difficulty could come at delivery especially if she had a cone biopsy. There is then a risk of the cervix not opening (cervical dystocia) making caesarean section inevitable. I am sure your friend's obstetrician will review her medical history to ensure all is well for the pregnancy. In the unlikely event of a potential cervical weakness, a cervical stitch applied either vaginally or through an abdominal operation will be offered. A simple ultrasound scan to measure the length of the cervix and assess for what is termed ‘funnelling’ will be required to assess the need (or not) for this.

Baby is ‘clicking’ inside the womb!

Question:  i have a weird question and dont know if you can help me with it .... im 8 months pregnant and every now and again my unborn baby clicks inside? I’ve had a baby before but never had anything like this so i was just wondering if you would know what it might be. lol  M. (UK)

Answer: I'm afraid you are right. I couldn't possibly help you on this! I am not sure what that 'clicking' is supposed to be but I have a gut feeling that, whatever it is, the baby is not to blame

Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy and previous cervical treatment for abnormal cells

Question:  Is bleeding in early pregnancy more common after treatment for abnormal cervical cells? A.M. (UK)

Answer: Previous treatment for abnormal cervical cells should not be a risk factor for bleeding in early pregnancy. The treatment, whether it is by freezing (cryotherapy) or loop excision is meant to eliminate the abnormality. There should therefore be no further problems.

Regular flying in early pregnancy

Question:  I'm 7 weeks pregnant and I’m a flight attendant. I’m in between my promotions and will only finish in July. I would want to know if its safe to fly till then if i take all precautions. If i leave now i will have to start all over again after 13 months. R. (UAE)

Answer: As we have explained in detail in our main section on flying during pregnancy, there is no evidence, despite extensive data, that regular flying even in the first half of pregnancy has any deleterious effect on the pregnancy or the baby. If your employing airline has arrangements for radiation exposure monitoring that should be able to give you objective reassurance. Sensible precautions to minimise risk of thrombosis (adequate fluid intake and regular exercise/staying active in the cabin) are the other measures to take. Available evidence suggest that you and your baby will be OK.

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