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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

How soon to perform a pregnancy test

Question: Me and my husband have been trying for a baby, i was due on Monday  just gone (3 days ago) but haven't come on but my pregnancy test said negative. as it's my 3rd I’d expect to show early and my stomach feels bloated and i have other familiar feelings the same as my last pregnancies but no positive test. is it possible to be pregnant or just late? A.G. (UK)

Answer: Both scenarios are possible. You may have done the pregnancy test too early since not all test kits are that sensitive. If the period has not arrived in about five days, which should be about 5 weeks since your last period, then perform another test. As I said before, it could be the case that your period is simply late and you may miss one altogether without being pregnant. In fact, the last question answered on the previous page addresses this same issue. Best wishes.

Breech vaginal delivery option

Question:  My baby is breech and the hospital want to have the baby turned or that I should have a caesarean. Is it not possible to have a normal delivery with breech. I don’t want a caesarean. T.S. (UK)

Answer: it has been established for a few years now that attempting a breech vaginal delivery for a singleton baby in breech position at term poses an unacceptable level of risk of injury to the baby. Because of this, the option of a breech delivery is not offered as standard. If you insisted, the hospital may accommodate you on the proviso that you understand this picture. There is also an issue with expertise in breech vaginal delivery. If there is no doctor who is an expert in doing this (and there are only a few now in the UK), the hospital may decline for that very practical reason which I am sure you will understand.

Retroplacental bleed in early pregnancy

Question: I am 8 weeks pregnant an have a hemorrhage above and to the side of the fetus, what can cause the bleed and will i miscarry? N.Y. (New Zealand)

Answer: A bleed within the womb cavity in early pregnancy is not rare. Sometimes this is revealed and in some cases it is concealed. It is simply impossible to establish why this happens. When the bleeding is revealed it is simply managed as a case of threatened miscarriage. When it is incidental finding on a routine scan, it will be documented as a retroplacental haemorrhage but no attempt is made to explain why it happened because that cannot be answered. The majority of these cases resolve spontaneously and the pregnancy carries on as normal. Any case of threatened miscarriage in the first trimester has a roughly 1 in 10 chance of ending in a  pregnancy loss. That’s a 90% chance that it will be OK.

Hepatitis B vaccination in pre-conception

Question: Is it safe to have a hep b vaccination for employment purposes whilst trying for a baby. l am not pregnant yet but am trying. B.N. (UK)

Answer: There is no specific recommendation against this and for a good reason. Hepatitis B vaccination can and is administered in pregnancy itself. It is actively recommended for pregnant women who are Hepatitis B negative but deemed to be at high risk of acquiring the infection. There has been no reports of  adverse effect to the mothers or their babies and the vaccine has been in use for almost 30 years now. By extension, it means, it should be OK to use it in the pre-conception period. Remember, the hepatitis B vaccine is synthetic and does not contain any viral material. You also need to remember that the immunisation schedule spans six months with the three injections required administered at 0 month, 1 month and 6 months. It may therefore include the period when you are already pregnant. If you have any personal misgivings or objections to that you will need to put that into consideration when deciding what to do.

Methadone withdrawal in newborn babies

Question: I am a nurse working in an obstetric unit and see the suffering that babies go through whose moms had been on methadone during their pregnancy.  Many of these babies have to be hospitalized for weeks and given morphine in order to decrease their withdrawal symptoms and keep them from having seizures.

Are there any clinics that encourage or require them to be on birth control (if they're not already pregnant) while they are on methadone? J.B. (USA)

Answer: You have touched upon an important aspect of the whole issue of Methadone and heroin use in pregnancy. Withdrawal problems for babies are inevitable even though the degree of this varies. The abuse of opiates at any time and in pregnancy is a very complex social issue. Whilst it would be ideal for women who use these substances or, indeed, those on a methadone substitution program not to get pregnant, in reality this is near impossible to achieve. The very environment that makes these women abuse substances is the same that engenders unprotected sex, culminating in unplanned pregnancy. It is, of course, not possible to require, (in other words, force) any woman to be on contraception. Apart from breaching the woman’s basic human rights, it is unlikely to work and is likely to be counter-productive as it will keep away the very people who need this help.

The arrangement in place at present is an attempt to make the best of a bad situation. By moving women away from heroin to Methadone during pregnancy and endeavouring to maintain them at the lowest possible dose, their babies are given a chance. The alternative, as you would know well, would be dire.

Treating a heavy cold in early pregnancy

Question: I am 6 weeks pregnant. I have a heavy chest cold, headaches , coughing ,sneezing ,sore throat and generally aching all over. I have spoken to a pharmacist who said i could only take paracetamol but this is having no effect. Is there anything stronger i can take? I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow but i need something now. Please help, i feel awful. C (UK)

Answer: I suspect by the time you read this you would have seen your doctor. I can also guess that he/she would have reiterated the advice you got from the pharmacist, that, your condition is only managed symptomatically and, in early pregnancy, Paracetamol is the best and safest you can get. Much as I feel for you, I am afraid there is nothing better out there. All those cold and cough remedies with fancy commercials are no better than placebo and some of them might not be safe in pregnancy. Hang in there.