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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Contact Answers In the News Hot Topics

Postnatal contraception with Mirena

Question: I used Mirena for contraception before removing it to try for a baby. It was brilliant for my periods. Now my baby is a month old and I would like to have mirena again but also im breastfeeding. Will it be ok? Thanks. H.F. (UK)

Answer: There is no problem with using Mirena postnatally. That is, even if you are breast-feeding. It remains a very effective contraceptive and, you are right, if you tend to have heavy periods, Mirena is very good for this too. You should ensure at least six weeks have elapsed since the delivery before the device is inserted. Your doctor will examine you to ensure the uterus has involuted adequately to allow for an insertion. If you do this too soon, you run a high risk of the device being expelled, sometimes without you being aware thereby running the risk of an unplanned pregnancy.

Rate of weight gain during pregnancy

Question: I am 33 week pregnant and gain 7 kg of weight throughout my pregnancy is it normal? My height of fundus and baby weight in Ultrasound are in normal ranges. M. (Pakistan)

Answer: the weight you have gained during your pregnancy is comfortably within the normal range. As you correctly observed, there is much less emphasis on maternal weight gain in modern antenatal care as long as there is solid evidence that the baby is thriving. Best wishes.

Contact with shingles in pregnancy

Question: my husband has come out with a rash which the doctor says is shingles. Will my baby be OK? T. (Canada)

Answer: I am going to make two assumptions since your question is very brief: One, I take it the baby you are talking about is in the womb, that is, you are pregnant and; two; that you have had chicken-pox yourself in the past. If you have had chickenpox in the past, then this contact with shingles should not worry you at all since you are already immune to the virus responsible (varicella). If you are not sure whether you have had chicken-pox in the past, get a blood test promptly to check your immunity status. There are more details on this specific subject here:

View of fetus at 20 weeks gestation

Question:  I’m 4 months and 2 weeks pregnant and i would like to see how my baby would look in my womb.Can u guys please show me how it looks? A.B. (Guyana)

Answer: 4 months and 2 weeks is equivalent to 20 weeks and is the half-way mark of a normal pregnancy duration. At this stage the fetus weighs around 300 grams or just under a third of a kilogram. The length from top to toe is around 25 cm (about 10 inches). At this stage, healthy babies are surprisingly similar in weight but it is at this stage where they start a divergence in weight and size. Even though outwards everything is fully formed, vital organs inside are still far too immature for the baby to survive outside the womb. Here are a couple of ultrasound images of a fetus at 20 weeks, one; a traditional 2D scan and the other, a 3D image (below, right).

Empty gestational sac on a scan

Question: I went for a 12 week scan to find a empty sack i have not had any heavy bleeding except for a bit of spotting at 9 weeks and still have all the signs of pregnancy? and my last period was the end of june (2½ months ago) M. (UK)?

Answer: This is the dreaded blighted ovum, also called anembryonic pregnancy. Dreaded because the diagnosis almost always comes as a shock. There are usually no warning signs or symptoms. A booking scan is usually the first time the expectant mother discovers that she is carrying a non-viable pregnancy. It simply means the baby never developed hence the empty sac apart from the fluid. There are more details about anembryonic pregnancy here:

More questions and answers on the next page

20 weeks fetus 2D scan view 20 weeks fetus 3D scan view