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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Increasing discomfort in late pregnancy: Is it imminent labour?

Question:  i am 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant,from last few days like 3 to 4 days,i am feeling very heavy tummy,like too much weight, pain like period  pain,pain in my legs,specially in my thighs, feeling pain in my back,specially at night time. What is all this mean,is my labour near or its just process? Thanks for your kind attention. S.S. (Ireland)

Answer: What you are describing is not unusual at this late stage of a pregnancy. Unfortunately it does not  necessarily signal imminent labour. You could of-course go into labour at any time because you are already ‘term’. However, it is still possible that, even with these symptoms, you may still be pregnant for another 3 or 4 weeks.

Pregnancy after a previous cervical excision

Question:  Hi, i just found out im pregnant and my only concern is that a few years ago i had to have abnormal cells removed. During this they had to shorten the neck of the womb, and i was told if i get pregnant there is a chance i wouldn't go full term. What effects could this have on my pregnancy? M.W. (UK)

Answer: There is a theoretical risk of causing cervical weakness when that kind of treatment is applied. However, this needs to be taken in context. Overall that risk is quite small. The risk is relatively higher when a woman has required repeated such treatment. Normally a wedge of cervical tissue with the abnormal cells is removed. This is necessary and in most cases one treatment is sufficient. However, if abnormal cells are detected again, a repeat treatment will be required and this, in theory, will increase the risk of creating cervical weakness (or incompetence as is otherwise known). If you have had only one treatment, you probably don’t need to worry. However, if you are still concerned, do speak to your obstetrician and if they see fit, you could have a scan (around 14 weeks of gestation) to measure the cervical length and look for signs of weakness called ‘funnelling’.  

Vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy

Question:  What are the effects of vitamin b12 deficiency on the unborn child, their likelihood and the period of pregnancy when it is likely to cause most problems? S. (UK)

Answer: Vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy is uncommon; even rare. Because of this, not a lot is known about the deficiency effect on the fetus in the womb. The few studies on this subject indicate a possible increase in the risk of miscarriage, growth restriction in the womb , placental abruption and even some birth defects. There is also a suggestion that because of Vitamin B12’s crucial role in the function of some enzymes which are important in the development of the brain and neural tissue in general, babies whose mothers had Vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy may be at increased risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia later on in their own lives. There isn’t a lot of data on this subject (because of its rarity and the fact that severe deficiency is associated with sub-fertility). However, any identified deficiency should really be corrected.

Sex in late pregnancy

Question:  I am 29 weeks pregnant,and my husband and i had sex,i then felt something watery come out. I need to knw wetha dat is safe for my baby or not. i am so worried. F. (UK)

Answer: Let me state firmly from the outset that sex at any stage of the pregnancy is perfectly safe. The exception is in cases of major placenta praevia where bleeding could be provoked. If what you saw was a watery substance and it was a one off, meaning it has not carried on coming out, then there is absolutely nothing to worry about. It could be anything from increased normal vaginal secretions to simply liquefied semen. You really don’t need to worry.

‘Avoiding’ pregnancy

Question:  How to avoid pregnancy. M (India)

Answer: Your question (or statement) is far too brief for me to know exactly what you want to be helped with. If it is ways of preventing unwanted pregnancy after childbirth, then this topic is covered in detail and you can reach those details by clicking here:

Fetal bowel abnormality

Question:  I have just had a pregnancy scan at 17 weeks gestation and have been told there was an abnormality with my baby's bowel so i will be needing to do another test and don’t know what this test involves, or what the problem could be, my doctors couldn't tell me much. Can you help? I’m really confused and would like to prepare myself for what could be in the future! Thanks. T (Australia)

Answer: I think it is quite unfair that you can be given such worrying information about your unborn baby without full details about what this implies and what is planned for you. You will, however, appreciate the fact that I just wouldn’t know where to start in illuminating on this any more because I simply don’t have the details. I would need to know what sort of bowel abnormality this was to be able to expand upon this. As things stand, I have to resist the temptation to speculate because I might be completely off the relevant subject which will only add to your anxiety and confusion. I do hope the necessary information will be forthcoming speedily to give you more clarity. I will, of-course, be happy to help where I can if you have more information (such as the actual scan report). Best wishes.

Two previous caesarean sections

Question:  Hi; i had 2 c sections and with the last one my uterus was torn. Will this pregnancy be ok? E.N. (UK)

Answer: I take it you are now in your third pregnancy. If there was a tear to the uterus, presumably as an extension to the surgical incision, that can leave the wall of the uterus with inherent weakness making labour potentially unsafe. In any case, it is standard policy to perform elective (planned) caesarean section in any case of two previous caesarean section. This is regardless of whether there were any complications or not. There is therefore no reason for you to be anxious about that. As for whether that previous tear could pose a risk during the course of the pregnancy, that is most unlikely. It is true that cases of uterine scar dehiscence before Term have been known to occur but such an event is exceedingly rare.

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