Problems and troubles during pregnancy can be serious. Whenever something is bothering future mothers, they should contact their physician. Problems can occur before pregnancy, and lead to complications during the 9-month period. Other times, complications are universal for the pregnancy period. Some problems are common, some are rare, but in both cases, early diagnosis is a key to successful pregnancy. Mothers should contact their physician if they notice bleeding/spotting or fluid leaking from their vagina, when they have severe swelling in the face or hands, when experiencing long headaches, fever, pain and cramping in the lower abdomen, or when faced with blurred vision.
Common Complications During Pregnancy
Anemia. Symptoms for anemia during pregnancy are pallor look, faint, feeling tired or weak, and shortness of breath. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for healthy red blood cells. Taking iron and folic acid are imperative for women with anemia.
Depression. Intense sadness, helplessness, irritability and appetite changes are some of the common symptoms for depression. If it occurs, it can make hard for the mother to take care for herself, thus ignoring baby’s needs. Depression during pregnancy can lead to postpartum depression. In this case, support groups can help the most.
Ectopic Pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is condition when the egg implants outside of the uterus. Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, shoulder pain and feeling dizzy or faint. In this situation, the egg can’t develop into a healthy embryo, and surgery is needed to correct the problem.
Fetal Problems. When baby moves less than normal, or it is smaller than the normal, the assumption is that mother is dealing with fetal problems. Sometimes, there are no symptoms, so prenatal tests are needed. Treatment depends on the results of the tests.
Gestational Diabetes. Clinical manifestations of gestational diabetes are extreme hunger, thirst and fatigue. Best way to diagnose is with screening test. If the tests show high blood sugar, mothers need to follow a special diet and healthy diet plan. Diabetes can lead to early delivery, preeclampsia, birth of a big baby, babies born with low blood sugar and breathing problems.
High Blood Pressure. High blood pressure often leads to preeclampsia. That is why expectant mothers with raised blood pressure need to be monitored more often, to check the health of the mother and the baby. Preeclampsia starts to occur after the 20th week of pregnancy and diminishes* after childbirth.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum. This condition is the extreme version of morning sickness. Symptoms of Hyperemesis gravidarum are persistent nausea, vomiting, weight loss*, dehydration, fainting and reduced* appetite. Sometimes, medicines are prescribed for treatment, but consuming lots of fluids is essential. This condition will diminish* after week 20.
Miscarriage. Vaginal spotting, fluid from the vagina and cramping are first signs of miscarriage. This can happen before 20th week of pregnancy, and as many as 20% of women experience it. Sometimes, it can happen before mothers know they are pregnant. Very rarely miscarriage can be prevented.
Placenta Previa. When this condition occurs, placenta covers the opening of cervix inside of the uterus. It can cover a portion of it or the entire opening. Placenta previa occurs during the second or third trimester, and vaginal bleeding is the first symptom. Hospitalization is needed if bleeding is heavy.
Placental Abruption. Sharp, heavy vaginal bleeding is the first symptom of abruption placenta. In this condition, the fetus doesn’t get enough oxygen, as a result of the placenta separating from uterine wall before delivery. Bed rest can stop the bleeding if the separation is minor, but in severe cases, medical treatment is required.
Preeclampsia. High blood pressure, swelling of hands and face, stomach pain, protein in urine, and blurred vision are symptoms of preeclampsia that starts after week 20. Preeclampsia can cause problems with the kidney and other organs. Once detected, a delivery is needed.
Preterm Labor. Sometimes, mothers go to labor before week 37 as a result of several problems. Preterm labor is risky. Babies born before the age of viability often have lower birth weight, have weaker immune system and are vulnerable to more health problems.
Infections During Pregnancy. Infections during pregnancy can be harmful for both the baby and the mother. Even though the baby is safely protected in the womb, some infections can harm it. Once mothers know the symptoms of the infections, they can diagnose them early and find the appropriate treatment.
Bacterial Vaginosis. Some women have no symptoms. Bacterial vaginosis is an infection caused by overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. It can lead to preterm birth and low birth weight. Bacterial vaginosis is linked with having new or more than one sexual partner. Treatment requires antibiotics.
Cytomegalovirus. This virus can cause disease in infants. Symptoms of cytomegalovirus are fever, sore throat, swollen glands, and fatigue. Good hygiene is a must for prevention.
Group B Strep. The bacteria found in the vagina and the rectum, and it is estimated that 25% of pregnant women have it. Infections caused by Group B strep is not harmful for the mother, but can be deadly to newly born baby as it passed during childbirth. There are no symptoms, but tests can detect it during week 35 and 37. Antibiotics are required.
Hepatitis B Virus. Another infection that can be passed on to the baby is Hepatitis B virus. If the baby is infected, it has 90% chance of developing lifelong infection. Vaccine keeps babies from getting the virus. Some of the symptoms of Hepatitis B include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dark urine and whites of eyes looking yellow. First vaccine is given at birth, second when the baby is 1-2 months old, and the third dose at 6 months old.
Influenza. Influenza virus can cause severe illness in pregnant women and can lead to premature labor. Symptoms of influenza include fever, sore throat, cough, muscle aches, stuffy nose, headaches, vomiting and sometimes, even diarrhea. Mothers need to take a flu shot during their pregnancy period to prevent influenza.
Listeriosis. Bacteria found in refrigerated and ready to eat food, this infection can cause miscarriage. Fever, chills, nausea are first symptoms, and once it progresses, headaches occur. Antibiotics are required to treat* listeriosis.
Parvovirus B19. This virus rarely causes problems, but when it does, Parvovirus B19. infects the fetus, increasing* the risk of miscarriage. Tiredness and rash on face are signs for contacting the physician. Common treatment for Parvovirus B19 is blood transfusions.
Sexually Transmitted Infection. Infections that are required through sexual contact can be passed on to the baby in womb or during birth. Life threatening infections are possible. Symptoms are very rare, so women should have regular screening tests to detect it. The only way to prevent it is with safe sex.
Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is infection that can cause hearing loss, intellectual disabilities and blindness to unborn babies. A parasite found in raw and undercooked meat causes toxoplasmosis, and rarely there are symptoms. To prevent it, mothers should practice good hygiene, avoid cat’s feces and cook the meat completely.
Urinary Tract Infection. This infection can spread to the kidney and cause preterm labor. Symptoms of urinary tract infection are pain when urinating, frequent urination, pain in the pelvic and back. Antibiotics are common treatment.
Yeast Infection. Caused by bacteria in the vagina, yeast infection is common during pregnancy. Yeast infections are not harmful, but rather uncomfortable. Pregnant mothers affected by yeast infection include but not limited to extreme itchiness around the vagina, burning and swelling of the vagina, and pain when urinating. Once detected, mothers are given vaginal creams for treatment.