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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

I look bigger than my dates...

Question:  I am 9 weeks pregnant and sometimes I look about 4 months pregnant. This is my fourth pregnancy; could this be why? D.M. (UK)

Answer: The number of previous pregnancies do not influence the size of your pregnant belly. Have you had a booking scan?  Possible explanations for a truly  bigger than expected pregnant abdomen are wrong dates (if you are more advanced than you think) and multiple pregnancy (more than one fetus on board). A rather rare cause is a molar pregnancy and, in much more advanced pregnancy, increased amniotic fluid volume. This is never a problem at such an early gestation. A scan should help clarify your situation.

Persistent spotting in early pregnancy

Question:  Hi, firstly thanks for your answer to my past question; I am at 11 week 3 days; I still spotting with brown to red discharge but my boobs are no more sore and I am not yet nauseous. The only thing I developed is breathlessness at bedtime with spotting and tiredness. Can you pls tell me is the situation is saying I am losing? I am in great tension, ultrasound due in 8 days, but I think I could not wait till that, Please suggest something. B. (UK)

Answer: Ongoing vaginal spotting, even in the form of brownish discharge, is a legitimate cause for concern. It will be without foundation for anybody to tell you what might be going on  remotely. That will be speculative. It is not what you need. Absence of the usual pregnancy symptoms is not necessarily significant. Some women do not get them and some do not get them in every pregnancy.

Even if you have a scheduled scan at a later date, you could still have a scan done earlier as an emergency measure at your local hospital’s Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU). This can be arranged via your GP, through the hospital’s A&E department or directly via the unit itself. Arrangements vary in different parts of the UK. Normally, the scan will be done within 24 hours. This is really the only way you will establish the status of your pregnancy  and hopefully everything is alright and your symptoms will resolve soon. You may see that you are not unique in this by reading the question below. Best wishes.

Brownish vaginal discharge in early pregnancy

Question:  I am nearly 13 weeks pregnant, but for the last few weeks i have been having a horrible brown blood clotty discharge which smells. Every day i have had a scan and the baby is fine. Females in my family find it hard to carry boys could this be the reason? S. (UK)

Answer: You have been experiencing the classic threatened miscarriage. Your doctors have performed the repeat scans to ensure continuing viability which is the right thing to do. I am not sure whether you have to have them daily though. The measure helps to reassure you and therefore dissipate the inevitable anxiety which is not good for a pregnancy especially in the early stages.

I could not comment on your family’s apparent poor obstetric history with pregnancies involving male fetuses as I do not have the necessary information. Are members of your family known to carry an X-linked genetic condition? There are several such conditions and these will tend to affect boys mostly. Girls will tend to be relatively healthy or are simply carriers of the gene without any health problems. Relatively common X-linked conditions include Hemophilia A, Red-Green colour blindness and Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. I digress: None of these will explain your continuing brownish vaginal discharge. A lot of times, the cause is never established. I hope it resolves soon.

Inducing labour due to maternal distress

Question:  I’ve just been reading through your induction of labour section and was wondering if the reasons for induction on there were the only ones. I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant so obviously don’t want to be induced yet, I’ve been in and out of hospital for the last couple of weeks due to massive difficulty with my breathing and after all tests possible it came back that it was just pregnancy causing this problem. I’m only small in height and have a huge bump I’m now finding it difficult to walk the smallest way without feeling tight chested and breathless. Is this a condition which may lead to me being induced further on in my pregnancy? Thanks for your time. L.B. (UK)

Answer: Maternal distress, of whatever form, is a legitimate indication for labour induction. What you are describing is one such case. Your obstetrician would assess carefully the pros and cons of taking such a step and of-course look at the suitability of this course of action. We are talking about a much later stage of pregnancy and almost certainly not before 37 completed weeks. If things were very bad with you and you are in perpetual distress with the symptoms you describe, such a request will be looked at sympathetically and in fact your own doctor may be the one to suggest it to you. What is important is to ensure the baby is mature and the induction has a reasonable chance of success.

When did I conceive?

Question:  I had sex one day after my last period we used a condom and I used a morning after pill less than 36 hours after. I then had sex 2 weeks after that again. When did I actually get pregnant if the scan dated 20/4/ said I was 24 weeks pregnant? M. (UK)

Answer: You are probably familiar with the way gestation is actually calculated. It means, if the scan on that date said you are 24 weeks pregnant, you would have conceived  22 weeks previously. Counting backwards, that puts your date of conception around the 17th of November. Now; because you are already in the second half of the pregnancy where the scan’s margin of error is around 1 week (either way), you could have conceived any time from the 10th  to the 24th of November. If you have your diary of those sexual encounters, you should be able to see which one falls within that time frame or, at least, closest.

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