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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Painless bloody discharge in early pregnancy

Question:  I am 6 weeks pregnant and have a very small amount of pink discharge with no cramps. Is this normal? D.M. (UK)

Answer: It may very well be nothing. However, any suggestion of a bleed in pregnancy and especially in this early stage requires visual verification of the status of the pregnancy. In other words, you need to actually see what is going on. See your doctor and an ultrasound scan at your local hospitals Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit will be arranged.

‘Flutters’ in early pregnancy

Question:  I`m only seven weeks pregnant but can feel lots of flutters is this normal? sometimes i have a pain in the top of my back to is this anything to worry about? E. (UK)

Answer:  What you describe as flutters are almost certainly nothing to do with the pregnancy. It is probably movements within your bowel. A woman cannot perceive any sort of movements within the uterus before about 18 weeks and for many, especially in a first pregnancy, movements aren’t apparent until after 20 weeks. I cannot state one way or another whether the pain you are having in your back is significant. It probably is not but if it is persistent and considerable, the best thing is to get your doctor to check it out.

Ectopic pregnancy

Question:  Hi, i have just found out that i am having an ectopic pregnancy i am just wondering when the bleeding will stop.

As i been bleeding since Tuesday (six days ago) and they told me i am having ectopic pregnancy then but last 2 days it seems to of stop i was just wondering if that is normal? E. (UK)

Answer: Are you sure you got the explanation of your problem correct? I find it difficult to believe you have an ectopic pregnancy. Where were you told your pregnancy is located? (the fallopian tube is by far the commonest location of an ectopic pregnancy). The reason I’m finding your details difficult to understand is that an ectopic is almost never managed that way. If you had a confirmed ectopic pregnancy, you would normally be offered an operation and that is done as an emergency. In a few cases, medication is given in effect to abort the tubal pregnancy. It is very rare for an ectopic pregnancy to be managed conservatively. I have a feeling that, either your details here are incomplete or you misunderstood the diagnosis and this is in fact an incomplete miscarriage which is an entirely different thing.

Could I be pregnant?

Question:  I think I’m pregnant. I last came on my period on the 20th march till the 30th of march and haven’t yet come on my period. I had unprotected sex on the 10th of april and 16th of april, i have sore breasts slight tiredness, light vaginal bleeding and put on a bit of weight. i took a pregnancy test but it showed up negative. T.D. (UK)

Answer: OK, let’s look at your dates: The start of your periods was 5½ weeks ago. You had sex 21 days after the start of your period and again six days later (Day 27 of the cycle). If your menstrual cycles are a regular 28 days give or take a day or two, it is unlikely that the two acts of intercourse would have resulted in conception. Why? Because it was rather late. Remember, mid-cycle is the most fertile time and therefore the likelihood of conception 21 days after the onset of a period is quite unlikely. On the other hand, if you normally have longer cycles of around 35 days, then the sex you had on the 10th had the potential to result in conception. I repeat, that will only be the case if you normally have longer than average cycles.

With everything that you have told me, my view is that you are probably not pregnant and you have just experienced a delayed period. If the bleeding appears to stop, it may be worthwhile to repeat the pregnancy test a week after the original test just to be sure. If the bleeding progresses into a full-fledged period, it is probably just that: a period.

Prenatal diagnosis of Down’s syndrome  from a distance

Question:  Hi, My name is G*****. I am living in Azerbaijan. One my friend already has one child with down syndrome. He and wife would like to have another child but there is no way in our country to check child's possibility of being down syndrome again and prevent pregnancy.  I would like to know if you do such service for international persons please let me know the how accuracy of the tests and price. Thanks. G. (Azerbaijan)

Answer: Let me state two things from the outset: It is not possible to predict whether any natural conception will result in a Down’s syndrome baby. We cannot therefore talk of preventing a Down’s syndrome pregnancy because such a thing is not possible. The second point I need to make is that, to make a diagnosis of a pregnancy where the baby is affected by Down’s syndrome, all currently available methods are invasive. In other words, you have to get a sample from the mother to analyse to be able to make a diagnosis. It cannot be done any other way.

If we move away from definitive diagnostic tests and consider the less accurate but non-invasive screening tests, blood tests are available at particular stages of pregnancy. However, even for screening tests, for more accuracy; a special scan, accurately timed, is required. This is the nuchal translucency scan which we have discussed on this section. You will also see many advertisements for this on this website. What this means is that, your friends will somehow need to physically travel to a place where these tests are available. I cannot see a possibility of them getting this kind of service without leaving where they are to a place where they can get a service of their choice, ideally after thorough counseling. I hope this helps and my best wishes to them.

Post-coital bleeding

Question:  My wife is about a month since she missed her period. The problem is she bleeds after having intercourse, though not always. What could be causing the vaginal bleeding? B. (Zambia)

Answer: I assume you have done a pregnancy test and that has confirmed that she is pregnant. Be that as it may be, bleeding after intercourse in early pregnancy will have nothing to do with the pregnancy. That is classic ‘contact bleeding’ meaning the bleeding is provoked by repeated contact to a certain part of the lower genital tract. The prime candidate is the cervix. In most cases, contact cervical bleeding is caused by a benign condition called cervical ectropion or cervical erosion. It is not dangerous. However, any cervical bleeding, and I believe this is one, needs to be verified by an examination and direct visualisation. I would urge her to see a doctor for this. Best wishes.

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