Greater Risks With a High BMI

The results of research published online by JAMA Neurol and highlighted in a recent BMJ article indicate that obese women i.e. those with a BMI of 30 or greater who use oral contraceptives could be at greater risk of suffering a (rare) type of stroke called cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT).  This is essentially a stroke caused by thrombosis of the venous channels in the brain.  This latest research helps to illustrate as part of the wider picture of women’s health how important a factor high BMI is in increasing the risk of many serious conditions, including gynaecological conditions. Studies have shown too that pregnant women with a BMI that is too high (or indeed too low) can be subject to maternal complications that can pose risks to their unborn child as well as to themselves, and lead to increased numbers and increased duration of maternal admissions.

Risks of High BMI Well Known

RCOG figures for example show that you could be considered to be overweight if your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, and obese if it is 30 or above. 20% of pregnant women for example are thought to have a BMI of 30 or above at the start of their pregnancy.  The kinds increased risks that a mother can face during pregnancy if they have a high BMI include gestational diabetes, thrombosis, high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia.

The kinds of risks to the baby due to a mother’s high BMI during pregnancy include higher risks of miscarriage and stillbirth, a higher risk of the baby having neural tube defects, and higher risks of the child developing obesity and diabetes in later life. If the mother has a very high BMI during labour and birth for example this can increase the risk of the baby being born early and of the labour taking longer with a higher risk of the need for e.g. an emergency caesarean.  It could also cause anaesthetic complications and heavy bleeding after the birth.

Support and Expert Help

Getting high quality, professional help during pregnancy and delivery can be a way to make sure that risks such as these can be reduced, and the health of mother and baby can be closely monitored and protected as much as possible.  Making sure that the mother has a healthy BMI and is doing the right things to reduce health risks can also be good news for the child’s health in later life.

Antenatal and Delivery Package

Along with my colleague Gordon Cochrane I offer a comprehensive Antenatal and Delivery Package.  You can find out more about it on my website here:

Comprehensive Health Check

For women who would like to get a comprehensive health check that covers all the important aspects of their health, as well as a comprehensive and reliable assessment of other areas of their health where they feel that they may have cause for concern I offer a Wellwoman Health Check.  Find out more about it on my website here:

Endometrial Hyperplasia and the Risks of Leaving it Untreated

You may have read in the press that The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy (BSGE) recently published national guidance on the management of endometrial hyperplasia. This is a condition where there is an overgrowth of the cells that line the womb that causes the womb to thicken.  This often leads to vaginal bleeding that can be described as ‘abnormal’ because it is heavy and perhaps heavier than normal during menstruation. The bleeding associated with this condition can also occur between periods, at irregular times when a woman is on HRT, and it can also occur after the menopause. There are 2 types of endometrial hyperplasia; hyperplasia without atypia and atypical hyperplasia.

What is the Danger?

The danger of endometrial hyperplasia for some women is that it can develop into one of the most common gynaecological cancers, womb cancer. Figures quoted put the number of women diagnosed with this kind of cancer at 8,500 per year, with the number of women with endometrial hyperplasia thought to be around 25,000.  Many women may be suffering from symptoms of endometrial hyperplasia but may not even know that they are and therefore will not have seen a medical professional to be diagnosed and treated. The problem here is that endometrial hyperplasia can be treated if it is caught early, and the risk of the development into womb cancer in many cases could therefore be avoided.

Risk Factors

Woman who are likely to be more at risk of suffering from endometrial hyperplasia are those who are older, those who have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) i.e. more body fat, those who have polycystic ovarian syndrome, or those who are using tamoxifen or are having HRT.

What to do

It is important therefore to look out for symptoms such as abnormal bleeding or discharge, particularly after the menopause. If you have been / are experiencing these kinds of symptoms it is well worth getting them checked out just to make sure.


I offer the full range of office gynaecology including rapid sexual health screening, fertility management, polycystic ovaries and in one visit, I will be able to carry out assessments for pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.  I am trained to carry out and treat major gynaecological conditions including endometriosis, investigation of treatment for polycystic ovaries, HRT, menopause, pelvic pain and pre-menstrual tension.

I also offer the NovaSure therapeutic treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding for women who have not responded to any medical (pill or Mirena coil) treatment.  Find out more about it on my website here.