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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

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Metallic taste when taking iron tablets

Question:  I have been taking iron tablets and i have noticed I have like a metal taste in my mouth which has been like this for over a week now. What should i do? A.K (UK)


Answer: What you are experiencing is not pleasant but it is actually not unusual with oral iron. Even in some cases where other forms of medication contain very small amounts of iron, this can be experienced. Unfortunately, changing the brand of iron supplements is unlikely to solve this problem since the core element (iron) is the culprit here. Dare I say you should grit your teeth and get on with it? I think you should.



SPD in early pregnancy

Question:  I am 13 weeks pregnant & have spd. It is hurting in my pelvic area when i urinate is this common? S.R (UK)


Answer: There are two issues here: is the diagnosis correct? Are the symptoms really due to SPD? SPD or ‘Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction’ is a pelvic joints dysfunction in pregnancy characterised by pain, usually provoked by movements. I have to say, SPD presenting at such an early stage of pregnancy is very uncommon. I am also concerned that you seem to perceive the pain when you are urinating. This is not typical of SPD. Whilst you might be correct in your diagnosis, I would advise that you see your doctor to have a proper examination and essentially rule out any other pathology such as a urinary tract infection (UTI). An untreated UTI in pregnancy is a great deal more significant than SPD.



Tonsillitis in Pregnancy

Question:    I suffer with tonsillitis and during my pregnancy can't seem to get rid of it. I had amoxycillin and augmentin when first pregnant and was unaware that I was pregnant whilst taking these and have since had two lots of amoxymethylpenicillin 150mg doses, which have not got rid of my tonsillitis.  My doctor will not prescribe anymore antibiotics and as I am now 36 weeks pregnant I am becoming increasingly worried, I have now also developed an abscess in my mouth, my throat is sore and the infection is visible on one side of my throat and it looks like I have 2 small blisters on the other side. How do I deal with this as I want to breast feed and I am already run down before the baby arrives?  Will my baby catch my tonsillitis when I kiss her, how long before I can have a proper dose of antibiotics and go and have my dentistry work done? Please can you give me some advice on what I can do as the baby could arrive at any time now and I can't stop worrying about it?  D.B (UK)


Answer: First things first: You can be reassured that the antibiotics you have used are safe in pregnancy. Your doctor may have stuck to the penicillin group of antibiotics because of their proven safety in pregnancy. However, from your narrative, the strategy clearly hasn’t worked. There are other antibiotics that can be used safely in pregnancy which may be able to do the job.


I would advise that you contact your community midwife promptly. Let her know about the problem and your concerns and that you wish to see your consultant obstetrician at your local hospital. Normally what will happen is that a dental surgeon will be asked to see you and they may take swabs from the infected area for microbiological studies. Through this, the offending bug will be identified as well as effective antibiotics. You can then be given an antibiotic that you can be confident will clear the infection. It is important that efforts are made to achieve this before the birth.


Regarding your concern on whether you might pass on the infection to your baby, the answer is no.  Your baby will be safe and don’t hold back on those kisses.


You should also be able to breast-feed. If you still need antibiotics when the baby arrives, this will be taken into account. For now, get the midwife to arrange a review by your hospital consultant or ring the hospital directly, if that is easier. Best wishes.



Detailed baby scan

Question: Why have I been called for a detailed scan 6 weeks before an anomaly scan is due?  K (UK)

Answer:  The honest answer? I don’t know. However, I can hazard a guess that there is a prosaic explanation to all this and that could be that the information has not been communicated properly. When you say you have been called for a ‘detailed’ scan 6 weeks before your anomaly scan is due, the impression I get is that this scan is to be done at 13 - 14 weeks gestation. That is on the basis that an anomaly scan is usually scheduled at 19 - 20 weeks. It is not possible to perform what can be legitimately termed a ‘detailed’ scan at 13 - 14 weeks. Most of the vital structures that are supposed to be examined in detail are too under-developed at that stage. Another thing: A detailed scan and an anomaly scan are one and the same thing. There is therefore an innocent explanation for this and the best thing in my view is to contact the hospital and get this cleared up for you.


Reduced amniotic fluid in early pregnancy

Question: I am 15 weeks pregnant and I went to the hospital today for a fetal development ultrasound and the baby was fine but there was reduced fluid! Why could this have happened and can I prevent it? I have heard about uterus stitching could this be an option for me? I had a baby 3 years ago by emergency c-section could this have anything to do with it?  H.F (UK)


Answer: Reduced amniotic fluid at such an early stage of pregnancy is pretty unusual. I would have expected a doctor to see you on the day of your scan, explain what all this means and answer your questions. Clearly this did not take place and that is disappointing. I cannot answer the question of how you can prevent it since I cannot pretend to know  what has caused this. It is possible this was just a one-off finding of no clinical significance. Causes of reduced amniotic fluid are discussed here but as you will see, most of them manifest in the later half of pregnancy.


The proper term of what you called ‘uterus stitching’ is cervical cerclage. This is used in cases of cervical weakness and not for reduced amniotic fluid. It is discussed here.

Your previous caesarean section has absolutely nothing to do with this and as I stated before; this might have been an innocent finding. In any case, it does require further analysis and I am sure a repeat detailed scan is in the pipeline.



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tonsillitis can complicate pregnancy
Inflammation of the tonsils can be a challenge to treat during pregnancy due to the restriction of use of some antibiotics during this time