Category Archives: New research

Red wine, chocolate, add coffee to the list…

Now, my colleague and friend in Belgium has been telling me for some years that chocolate is good for me and I should eat more. I interpreted this as an attempt on his part to boost the Belgian export market … Continue reading

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Epilepsy in pregnancy – sodium valproate safety

Epilepsy is a problem in pregnancy although in general women will not see an increase in seizure frequency. Looking at the literature the obstetric implications are not as clear-cut as one might think. However in general it has been thought … Continue reading

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What should I do about an abnormal smear in pregnancy?

We don’t usually take smears in pregnancy but sometimes a smear is taken before you realise you are pregnant. At other times you may have had an abnormal smear before the pregnancy and your doctors may want to keep a … Continue reading

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Should my daughter have the HPV vaccine?

HPV vaccination is working very well and is extremely safe and the WHO, as well as a number of governments, has recommended that it is given to all girls and young women. Since its introduction in 2007, it has been … Continue reading

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Do you need expensive ultrasound machines to get the diagnosis right?

Doctors love fancy bits of kit, and there is no better example of this than when it comes to ultrasound  imaging. There are fabulous machines around that give spectacular images – but how good does an image have to be … Continue reading

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Diet and exercise in pregnancy – BMJ paper shows value for intervention

I think everyone knows the old adage that pregnant women are “eating for two” is not only wrong but positively unhealthy. Yesterday in the British Medical Journal, Shakila Thangaratinam and colleagues published an analysis of papers designed to see if … Continue reading

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Morbidity from ectopic pregnancy is more likely to reflect the quality of care than anything else…

As trainee gynaecologists one of the first things we learnt is the idea that a women with pain/bleeding/almost any symptoms has an ectopic pregnancy until proved otherwise. Over time maybe this teaching has slipped. In a recent study from Nora … Continue reading

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Recurrent pregnancy loss – a failure of the mechanism to select the right embryo?

Recurrent miscarriage is a blight on a couple. There is only so many times a person can cope with being told it is “bad luck” or “the odds are really in your favour next time”. Undoubtedly this may be true … Continue reading

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People talk about natural killer (NK) cells in pregnancy: what do they mean?

Women who have had a miscarriage often read widely on the internet to try to understand what may have been the reason it happened. It is highly likely that they will find something about the possible role of NK cells … Continue reading

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Rising maternal deaths in London

The Lancet recently published a letter stating that the maternal mortality in London is 19·3 per 100 000 maternities (95% CI 14·0–26·6) versus 8·6 per 100 000 maternities (7·1–10·5) in the rest of the UK. The same letter reported an apparent 27% increase … Continue reading

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