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The Dangerous Pregnancy Complications You Need To Be Aware Of

Diane Luke
Senior Editor, TipsHire

Any problem that may endanger the health and safety of the mother, baby, or both is considered a complication of the pregnancy. The high-risk pregnancy label simply alerts you to watch out for signs of danger and do your best to prevent life-threatening situation for you and your future newborn. Thus, pregnancy, labor, and birth can occur normally, and the baby will probably be very well. However, for 10-20 percent of pregnancies, one or more problems arise. This article will talk about the dangerous pregnancy complications you need to be aware of.

If you are told that you have a complicated or high-risk pregnancy, do not panic. Do not forget that even a normal pregnancy is not necessarily free of problems. In fact, most of the pregnancies which are considered normal imply physical discomfort. Your body goes through many changes to create a small comfortable space for the baby to thrive until he gets out.

When you and your partner find out that the pregnancy has complications, it’s natural to feel scared and depressed. The best way to get rid of these feelings is to learn as much as possible about these problems.

Ectopic Pregnancy

In this situation, the embryo is implanted elsewhere than it would normally be in the uterus, most often in the fallopian tube.

The usual symptoms are a pain in the lower abdomen and bleeding. Because such an embryo can be life-threatening if allowed to grow, the doctor should remove it as soon as possible after diagnosing the problem.

You are at risk of having an ectopic pregnancy if you have had a pelvic inflammatory disease or other sexually transmitted disease, you have had another ectopic pregnancy before, or have had a fallopian tube surgery

Spontaneous Abortion

At least 10% to 30% of the pregnancies end up with a spontaneous abortion, which means the fetal loss before the 20th week of gestation.

It usually happens much earlier than the 20th week, usually before the 10th week, or in some cases even before you realize you’re pregnant.

Most spontaneous abortions, 85% of them, originate from a genetic problem of the egg that makes impossible the normal development of the fetus.

Other causes include:

  • congenital anomalies
  • infections
  • exposure to certain drugs or chemicals.

Since any woman who has had at least 3 spontaneous abortions is exposed to the risk of recurrent spontaneous abortions, so all the future pregnancies she will have will be considered to be at high risk and should be carefully monitored.

The risk factors for a spontaneous abortion include:

  • mother’s age – too young or too old, more specifically under 18, or over 35 Endometriosis
  • rupture of the placenta
  • uterine infections caused by a sexually transmitted disease
  • uterine fibroids or scars on the uterus
  • malnutrition
  • exposure of any of the parents to radiation or toxic substances
  • smoking
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • previous spontaneous abortions
  • hormonal problems

Molar Pregnancy

This is one of the dangerous pregnancy complications you need to be aware of.

In these rare situations, scientifically called hydatidiform moles, the fertilized egg degenerates and the placenta deteriorates into a tissue mass that the physician has to remove by surgical suction or by other methods.

Risk factors include:

  • the mother’s age (below 20, or over 40)
  • chromosomal abnormalities
  • hormonal imbalances
  • possible nutritional deficiencies

A woman who thinks that her pregnancy develops normally can figure out if she’s having a problem when feeling heavy nausea or bleeding.

The doctor may notice that the uterus appears to be too high for a normal pregnancy, the patient presents high blood pressure, fluid accumulates in the body, and the patient presents too much protein in the urine. All these are signs of a dangerous disease called preeclampsia.

Ultrasound does not reveal fetal heartbeats. Molar pregnancy is usually diagnosed in the second, third, or fourth month, usually by ultrasound.

Mother’s Health Problems

Any woman who had problems during a previous pregnancy, whether or not she gave born to a healthy child, is considered to be at risk for all the following pregnancies.

If a close relative of the mother, especially her own mother, had problems with her pregnancies, your doctor may also consider this as a risk factor, although it is very unlikely that the expectant mother will have exactly the same problem.

Even if you have not had any problems before, there are many medical problems that can affect the unborn baby.

Common diseases, infections, chemical imbalances, and other health factors expose the fetus to specific dangers in the absence of a proper care. That’s why you need to be careful during your pregnancy.

Diabetes in Pregnancy

This disease, where the body lacks the necessary insulin it needs in order to process the sugar, can cause many complications during pregnancies.

In the absence of an appropriate treatment, it will put your baby at an increased risk of having congenital defects, a very high weight (over 4.5 kg), too much amniotic fluid (hydramnios), high pregnancy-induced tension (preeclampsia ), baby’s respiratory distress syndrome, spontaneous abortion, premature birth, and sometimes even the birth of a dead child.

About 2% of the diabetic pregnant women have diabetes before getting pregnant, while some get diabetes during pregnancy, this being called gestational diabetes. Routine tests performed on all pregnant women are usually done between the 24th and the 28th  weeks of gestation.

Part of the usual treatment of diabetes, whether chronic or gestational, is a diet carefully set to have a low sugar content. Many women learn how to monitor their blood sugar level at home, every day, using a blood glucose level measurement device or special bands which are available in many pharmacies and supermarkets. A single drop of blood is enough to do such tests.

If necessary, a woman can control her blood sugar level through a proper diet characterized by smaller and more frequent meals, physical exercises, and insulin injections.

It can also perform simple urine tests using some home-based kits. Other tests that can be recommended for women with chronic diabetes or gestational diabetes to assess baby’s health are the non-stress fetal test and the alpha-fetoprotein test.

The researchers have shown that one out of five pregnancies ends with a spontaneous abortion during the first three months of pregnancy, and one in 100 women has repeated spontaneous abortions in future pregnancies.

These are the most dangerous pregnancy complications you need to be aware of but don’t relax too much if none of these is affecting you. Dangerous pregnancy complications may occur even if you’re a healthy mother. Pay huge attention to what you eat, what products you use, and how much physical effort you do while you’re pregnant. Even eating an inappropriate or altered food, smoking or alcohol consumption, using hair dyes, or lifting the furniture to clean beneath it, could lead to dangerous pregnancy complications.

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