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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Increased amniotic fluid in late pregnancy

Question: My wife is 7½ mths pregnant. She did scan and the doctor said she has too much fluid in the uterus. What is the cause and solution? U.O. (Nigeria)

Answer: increasing amount of water or amniotic fluid is actually not uncommon. In many cases, the underlying cause cannot be established. In some cases it could be a sign of gestational diabetes, commonly accompanied by an above-average size of the baby as well. This is probably the one thing that needs to be ruled out in your wife’s case. Occasionally, increased amniotic fluid is because of a variety of self-limiting viral infections such as Rubella or Cytomegalovirus. This cause is quite uncommon. You inquired about the solution. In the majority of cases, provided the known potential causes have been ruled out, no special action is required. If she is found to have gestational diabetes, that will need to be properly managed. You can access more details about increased amniotic fluid by clicking here.

Crampy pains and loss of weight in late pregnancy

Question:  I’m 36 weeks plus and i am experiencing stomach cramping after going to the toilet but there is no infection in my urine. I’ve also lost weight and am very emotional. Can you tell me if these are signs that labour is close? R.T. (UK)

Answer: None of the clinical features you have mentioned are signs of impending labour. In fact, contrary to a lot of myths out there, labour rarely give notice of its impending arrival. That’s why its timing is notoriously difficult to predict. Abdominal cramps are relatively common in late pregnancy and these are most likely Braxton Hicks contractions, also loosely termed as ‘practise contractions’. These can start as early as the second trimester, even three months before labour onset. I would be more concerned about your reported weight loss. This is quite uncommon in pregnancy. Are you finding it difficult to eat? Whatever the explanation I would advise you to promptly bring this to the attention of your midwife or doctor. Best wishes.

‘Restoring’ virginity

Question:  I’m 22 yrs old and recently got engaged.  I have never had sex but through masterbation my hymen is already broken. I’ve heard it is possible to have an operation to restore virginity but I don’t know where to start. I have told my fiance that im a virgin but he may not believe me when we eventually make love. Can you help? A.Q (Lebanon)

Answer: This is a tricky question. What you have told your fiancé is true. The fact that you have never had sex means you are a virgin. This is not negated by the fact that the hymen is no longer intact.

The hymen can and is often broken through means other than sexual intercourse. If there is an option of being candid with your future husband explaining how it happened in your case, that may really the best course of action. Many gynaecologists (including this one) do really frown upon the practise of surgically reconstructing the hymen, a procedure also called ‘a hymenoplasty’. It does not sit very well with a woman’s autonomy over her own body.

Remember, the hymen is a membrane of vaginal skin which will tear if anything larger than an average finger is inserted through the introital opening for the first time. When the hymen tears, it is left in a form of skin tags just inside the vagina. These simply blend into the vaginal anatomy. What those doctors who claim to restore virginity do is to stitch these skin tags together again.

Does this surgical action really ‘restore’ virginity for a woman who has been sexually active before? It may be a matter of opinion but I think technically that cannot be so. Is it important? Again, that’s a matter of opinion and arguably driven by cultural and religious dynamics. Some of us think it shouldn’t be important but we acknowledge and respect different views.

Feel free to decide what you think is best for you but if I were to advise you I would ask you to please steer clear of surgery.

Establishing paternity

Question:  Three months ago I had a fight with  my boyfriend and stormed out and ended up at a club where stupidly I had unprotected sex in a one night stand. My boyfriend and I did make up and we are now engaged to be married after finding out I am pregnant. My periods are usually irregular and I am really terrified  my fiance may not be the father. I have not told him what I did as it will really destroy him but if he is not the father that will be even worse. Is there any way I can find out the father of my baby before the birth? The worry is killing me and I’ve even thought of an abortion. Please help. K.M. (USA)

Answer: The first thing for you to do is to have an ultrasound scan as soon as possible to establish the gestation. If it appears not to tally with the dates of your one night stand then you can relax. However, if the dates by the scan show that you conceived around that time and if you had sex with your boyfriend as well around the same time then I’m afraid it simply isn’t possible to establish paternity until after the birth. You can then have a DNA test to know for sure who the father is. You can also refer to an answer given to a similar question found here:  I cannot really comment on the merits or otherwise of telling your boyfriend (now fiancé) about your escapades. That’s outside my comfort zone.

More questions and answers on the next page

intact hymen

Intact hymen


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