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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Symptoms of a miscarriage

Question: I was 5 weeks pregnant on Monday,come Tuesday i started to have light bleeding. I went to the doctors straight away who said it was more than likely a miscarriage but i would have to wait a week to confirm. My question is that from the time i took the test and about a week before i had very bad stomach cramps almost like period pains,before the bleeding started i had a very bad shooting pain,are cramps in early pregnancy usually a bad sign?

This is my first time pregnant and it has made me worry about trying to conceive again. I want to know if there are any warning signs to look out for next time? C.R. (UK)

Answer: I can fully understand the heartbreak of a miscarriage especially with this being your first pregnancy. It is not trivialising your pain when I state that this should not be a cause for concern about your overall fertility. Early pregnancy loss is sadly very common, affecting about a quarter of all pregnancies. The positive side of the picture is that most experience only one miscarriage in their reproductive lives. Chances are therefore overwhelmingly tilted towards a successful pregnancy next time around. Yes, the symptoms you had in the lead up to the miscarriage are typical However, it will be a mistake to be on the look-out for miscarriage symptoms next time you conceive because that creates stress and that is not good. Good luck for the future.

Recurrent bleeding in pregnancy

Question: I am bleeding for the second time in pregnancy. I’m now 18 weeks pregnant. I have pink discharge and now bleeding again. The last scan said everything was fine. There are no clots just blood. M. (UK)

Answer: It is true that some pregnancies are plagued by unexplained, non-specific, light and usually painless vaginal bleeding. You appear to fall in this category. It is not possible for anybody to predict if this will keep occurring or whether it will resolve completely after this latest episode. As a general statement, there is rarely any significant effect on the progress of pregnancy apart from the inevitable anxiety.

Accuracy of ultrasound scan in dating a pregnancy

Question: Hiya, I’ve just had a scan at tweleve weeks and 3 days, could you tell me how accurate the scan is at this stage? Many thanks. K.R. (UK)

Answer: Pretty accurate. The margin of error at around 12 weeks gestation is 5 days either way.

Surgery for fibroids and its effect on a woman’s sex life

Question: Will it be possible for someone to enjoy sex after surgery to remove fibroids or the uterus? S.C. (Zambia)

Answer: Surgery to remove fibroids, also called a 'myomectomy' does not in any way affect your sex life. You should be able to enjoy sex exactly as before. If you opt to have the whole uterus removed (hysterectomy), you could check with your gynaecologist whether you could have a subtotal hysterectomy. This simply means the cervix is retained. Some women (not all) who have a total hysterectomy do report that their sexual experience is altered as a result. That's why a subtotal hysterectomy is sometimes recommended provided there is no abnormality in the cervix.

Air travel (flying) and miscarriage

Question: Can flying cause a miscarriage within the first trimester of pregnancy? Or even in the first few weeks of pregnancy? D. (UK)Flying is largely safe in pregnancy

Answer: Flying is not a cause or even a risk factor for miscarriage at any stage of the pregnancy. The subject is discussed in greater detail here:

Reliable Pregnancy Test

Question: I had a normal period on the five weeks ago, 3 months after the last shot of noristerat.Two weeks after my menses i had brown pink spotting for 2 days. I have not had a period yet and my nipples are sore and tender and i go to the loo more than 5 times a day and twice at night. I did a home pregnancy test on the **/**/**** (five days ago) which was negative. Could i be pregnant? Me and my hubby want a 2nd child. Please help. D. (USA)

Answer: It is of course possible that you could be pregnant especially with the symptoms you are describing. However, you will be aware that those same symptoms could be experienced in the final days of a normal cycle. Those are basically a function of high levels of the progesterone hormone.

Since it is just five weeks since your last period, some pregnancy test kits may not be sufficiently sensitive to detect a pregnancy at such an early stage. As such, I would advise that, if you haven't had a period in one week, please repeat the test. I noted that you are in the United States. You therefore need to choose your test with care as there are a number of brands which are not as reliable as they could be. Best wishes.

Steroids for a pregnant woman with diabetes

Question:  Is it ok to give steroid at 26wks AOG to pregnant patients with uncontrolled preeclampsia with diabetes? A.B.N. (Philippines)

Answer: If as a doctor you feel that your patient has a condition such as pre-eclampsia that will make preterm delivery likely or inevitable, you should definitely give steroids to accelerate fetal lung maturation. Diabetes on the part of the mother is an issue but it is not a contra-indication.

It is true that the administration of steroids will significantly interfere with plasma glucose control. What you need to do then is to put in place a mechanism of close control of glucose and insulin administration. Most obstetric units employ the ‘sliding scale’ for this. This is only required for a period of approximately 48 hours after which she can be gradually put back to her old regime.

More questions and answers on the next page

Flying during early pregnancy is, on the whole, safe