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John asked...

Signs of pregnancy

Tags: pregnancy

My sister is showing all the signs of being pregnant in her blood tests. The NHS can't find the pregnancy and believe it may be ectopic. They have been testing her for days now and are talking about surgery to remove the tube. They can't confirm for sure if it is an ectopic pregnancy and with the fact they are unsure and have changed what tube they think it is numerous times. She is terrified of it going wrong. She is to get more tests tomorrow and if her HGC levels have risen they are going to force her to make a decision on surgery or the chemo jag which may not work. What are her options and what sort of prices is she looking at for an Adam private health care check up?

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The answer

From what you describe your sister is displaying the initial signs of pregnancy which include a rise in the Hormone levels known as BHcg. A raise in this hormone can indicate the presence of pregnancy but can also be present in a condition known as a Molar Pregnancy. Following conception the BHcg levels rise but the way in which these rise can give an indication to how healthy the pregnancy is or to complications that may be arising.

You do not say what other symptoms your sister is experiencing but I am assuming that she has possibly been experiencing some form of abdominal pain and possible bleeding and that is why she has had to have investigations commenced.

Bleeding and abdominal pain in early pregnancy can be indicative of possible miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and molar pregnancies.

Tests to ascertain what is happening include Blood tests to check for infection and hormone levels and Vaginal or Abdominal ultrasounds to check for a viable intra uterine pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy and any abnormalities.

It is often hard initially to always confirm a pregnancy in its initial stages of development so that is why scans and blood tests may need to be repeated over a period of days. By repeating these tests it would become more noticeable to see changes to hormone levels and growth of the sac and development of the baby.

If the hormone levels are rising appropriately then this may indicate a healthy pregnancy but if the levels are not rising in the manner we expect this could be regarded as a possible indicator of an ectopic pregnancy. If hormone levels are raised more than expected this could indicate a multiple pregnancy or the condition of a molar pregnancy is suspected.

By repeating scans abdominally and vaginally then a pregnancy or abnormalities present are more likely to be seen.

Surgery which you say is being suggested would involve a laparoscopic procedure where they insert a camera into the abdomen and look at the uterus and fallopian tubes to see if there is a healthy pregnancy or complications present.

If an ectopic pregnancy is found then attempts to remove the embryo from the fallopian tubes would be performed.

A molar pregnancy is where there has been an issue with the implantation of the embryo in the uterus lining and, instead of a baby forming the cells develop into grape like cysts. If this is found then treatment would involve possible surgery to remove the cysts and a course of chemotherapy by means of injections and tablets to prevent the condition developing into a cancer.

Your sister will be receiving care from a gynaecologist and they are specialists in these types of conditions. We can assure you that the care she will receive will be aiming to minimise the trauma she will be experiencing and will be monitored carefully so that she does not undergo any procedures that are not necessary. She will be followed up in respect of future pregnancies to if complications are confirmed.

If your sister has private medical insurance cover then her policy team should be able to help her transfer care to the private medical sector and provide details of consultants and hospitals to give her care as appropriate. In relation to health care check ups again it is possible for discounts to be given with The BMI and Nuffield Hospitals for well being checks if she has a private medical insurance policy through AXA however we do not think this type of check up is what your sister requires at this time.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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