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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Vitamin B12 injections and trying to conceive

Question:  I was a vegetarian for 15 years and since the birth of my first child was unwell and diagnosed with B12 deficiency. I was perfectly healthy until a few weeks after giving birth. I get bi monthly B12 injections and am worried about trying to conceive again - could this cause an adverse outcome if I became pregnant again? C.M. (UK)

Answer: I want to be sure I have understood your question. You have been diagnosed to have Vitamin B12 deficiency presumably diet-related. You are now getting B12 injections which should have corrected the deficiency and is maintaining the plasma B12 within the normal physiological range. I would therefore assume that your question is not about the effect of Vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy but the potential effect of the B12 injections when you are trying to conceive. Well, the advice in such a case is that you should have the injections when deficiency is confirmed. Significant B12 deficiency does in fact make it difficult to conceive. However, there is really no evidence-based information on the potential effect of B12 injections when given in pregnancy. However, on the basis of the fact that this is a natural product, it is presumed to be safe. Can I refer you to the answer given earlier to a similar query found here:

Nursing a patient with ectopic pregnancy

Question:  what is the nursing management of an ectopic pregnancy,including the nursing care plan pre and post operative? B.J. (Gambia)

Answer: Surgery for ectopic pregnancy is pretty standard. In many western countries this is done before the tube has ruptured and is therefore done laparoscopically (keyhole surgery). Hospital stay is about 24 hours. In low resource countries, many women with an ectopic pregnancy tend to present late when rupture has already taken place. Emergency surgery in such a case involves an open procedure (laparotomy) and, in many cases, blood transfusion. The standard supportive nursing care will be required and hospital stay could last a few days. The care will therefore include ensuring patient is comfortable and pain-free, wound management and early ambulation.

IVF Clinic

Question:  I would like to know the address of the IVF clinic in London or Europe please. Just don’t know from where to start. S. (UK)

Answer: There are many such clinics all over the place. Seeing as you are in the UK, the easiest thing to do will be to enter a search for IVF Clinics and the town or city where you reside in any of the major search engine  (Google,Yahoo! Or Bing) and explore the results that you get. With assisted conception, it is advisable that you try as much as possible to get the service as close to where you live as possible. The processes involved makes that the ideal arrangement whenever possible. Of-course in some cases you may not have a clinic nearby or you might have clinics in your neighbourhood the results of which aren’t very good. You would want to avoid that. Best wishes.

Blood transfusion during labour

Question:  Is it harmful to transfuse the anemic pregnant mother when she is in labor? W.M. (Tanzania)

Answer: It is unusual to require blood transfusion during labour. However, if it is found to be necessary then that should definitely be done. There is no harm in doing that and certainly withholding blood in the face of severe anaemia could be catastrophic for both mother and baby. Ideally, anaemia should be identified before labour and corrective measures applied then. However, if the mother presents late and already in labour or there is heavy unexpected haemorrhage, the issue of blood transfusion may be a life-saving measure. In such a situation, one should not hesitate to transfuse.

Dihydrocodeine use in pregnancy

Question:  Can I take Dihydrocodeine at 16 weeks pregnant? C.R. (UK)

Answer: Dihydrocodeine is one of the few pain killers that can be taken safely at any stage of pregnancy. If you use this in the normal recommended dose, you and your baby should be OK. However, you may have to put up with constipation, a known side-effect of this drug. The subject is discussed here:

Vaginal discharge in pregnancy

Question:  Is a discharge dangerous for a  baby in the womb? I have had a watery discharge for several weeks now. I have been treated for thrush but it does not help. The doctor has taken swabs but she says they are not showing anything. I am now 26 weeks. Thank you. B. (Greece)

Answer: Whilst your anxiety is understandable, it is the case that you should be reassured as far as the wellbeing of your baby is concerned. That kind of vaginal discharge is not uncommon in pregnancy. It is important to rule out such conditions as bacterial vaginosis which are known risk factors for preterm labour. That appears to have been ruled out with the swabs that your doctor correctly took. Nor am I surprised that treatment for ‘thrush’ has not helped. The description of the discharge does not sound like thrush. Sometimes what appears to be an abnormal discharge in pregnancy may merely be an increase in the normal vaginal secretions. If an infection has been ruled out, please feel reassured.

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