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What does an empty lower pole in a fetal scan signify?

Q: My wife is pregnant and we are expecting our second child by another 2 months. Yesterday, my wife went for a regular check-up and the doctor gave a remark that the lower pole is empty and asked her for a scan check-up. Is this anything serious?

A:The empty lower pole refers to the lower part of the womb not containing any baby parts. Usually this should contain either the head or the buttocks by this stage of pregnancy. The area could be empty because it contains a low lying placenta or a benign uterine tumour such as a fibroid or because of an abnormally shaped uterus. All these can be assessed with a good ultrasound scan. None of these is any cause for alarm. The placenta still has time to migrate upwards if it is low. If a uterine fibroid or abnormal uterine shape is identified, at most, a caesarean section may be required at term for the delivery.


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