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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

DNA test and surviving twin

Question: Could a DNA test prove that a person is in fact a surviving twin without knowing it? It's a complex story but would be willing to discuss if there was a way of determining the facts. P.G. (UK)

Answer: I have extremely limited information here so it is not possible to give a concise answer  specific for a particular situation. Instead, let me try to explain the basic principle of the test. What a DNA test does is establish whether one individual is related to another and how close their relationship is. If, for instance, there was a family with five siblings and two of those were non-identical twins, a DNA test of all five will confirm that they are, indeed, siblings as long as they have the same mother and father. The degree of closeness of their relationship will be the same across the board and, just by looking at the results, you won’t be able to tell which two are twins. If, on the other hand, the twins are identical, their set of results will match up more closely than their other siblings and you can then tell that they are, indeed, twins. I do not know whether this sheds light to the  particular situation you are referring to. If not, you may wish to send me further details for another answer, privately, if you so wish.

Previous chlamydia infection and fertility

Question: I was treated for chlamydia when I was 17. I have been trying for a baby for about a year now and the doctor says that the infection may have damaged my tube. What can I do? I.S. (UK)

Answer: A chlamydia infection could  damage tubes causing blockage and subsequent sub-fertility. However, this is by no means always the case. There are many factors that determine the extent of residual damage (if any) that chlamydia pelvic infection causes. If you have such a history and you are concerned that your inability to conceive so far might be related, your doctor needs to refer you to a gynaecologist specialising in fertility issues. There, a simple test to check the status of your tubes should help clarify the picture. Best wishes.

Looking for a baby boy

Question:  We are about to try for another baby but I have got two daughters and I would want to have a boy. Is there any way that I can make sure that this happens? Thank you for your help. A very good site! M. (India)

Answer: Many ‘experts’ over the years have advocated ways of choosing the sex of your baby. The majority of these have not really stood up to scientific scrutiny. The one sure way of getting a baby of a pre-determined gender is to have IVF where only embryos of a desired sex are placed back in the womb. Apart from the uncertainty of success and the prohibitive cost, many people find such a step a bridge too far. However, this is an individual thing and it is up to you to look in your heart and decide what you would consider acceptable. We have, in fact, dedicated a chapter on the subject and you can reach it by clicking here.

Chantix (Champix) in pregnancy

Question:  I am three months pregnant and I am desperate to give up smoking. Can I use chantix? Is it safe for my baby? I smoke about 10 a day. L.V. (USA)

Answer: Your efforts to give up smoking now that you are pregnant are laudable. HowChantix not used in pregnancyever, Chantix (or Champix as it is known in Europe) will not be suitable at this time. There is, in fact, evidence that it is not safe for the baby and therefore should not be used in pregnancy. Nor should you use it after delivery if you are breast-feeding. The generic name of Chantix is Varenicline. Try speaking to your doctor about options available to help you in your quest. If counselling services are available, that should form a significant part of the program. Good luck.

Small breasts and breast feeding

Question:  I’ve got quite small breasts. I mean, they are hardly there. This has not bothered me much until now that im pregnant and am keen to breatsfeed. Do you think I will be able or is this wishful thinking? G. (Ireland)

Answer: You will probably not know for sure until you have had the baby. There is poor correlation between breast size and milk production. There are many well-endowed women who have struggled to breast-feed and others like you who have found it a breeze. If you are planning to breast-feed, the size of your breasts should definitely not put you off. You may find that you are pleasantly surprised. Good luck in the remainder of your pregnancy and beyond.

Vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)

Question:  I had a c-section in my last pregnancy three years ago. This is my third pregnancy. Normal birth in my first. My ob says I will have to have a cesarean again this time. Yet you say it is safe to try a normal birth. Which is which? I would like a normal birth if possible? K.A. (USA)

Answer: This is one of those areas where cross-border practices differ. Seeing as you are in the United States, I’m not surprised that your doctor has advised you to have a caesarean section. Unfortunately, that is the trend in the US now. That, you may know, is in stark contrast to the practise in Europe where active efforts are made to enable women who have had a caesarean section to have a vaginal delivery in subsequent pregnancies. That is, as long as there are no factors in the current pregnancy to make that unsafe for you or the baby. Even obstetricians in the United states acknowledge that that is the ideal arrangement and is best for both mother and baby in most cases. In the end, however, the doctor has got to offer you an option that they are confident that they have the expertise and facilities to deal with. If your current obstetrician is not in a position to consider your wishes, you may need to look elsewhere.

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