Pregnancy is a happy time for most women. While most expectant mothers experience an average pregnancy, there are certain dangers associated with this condition which can result in health complications for both you and your baby. Knowing what these complications are can help reduce your risk of experiencing them.
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Heavy Bleeding in the First Two Months
Heavy bleeding and severe pain in the pelvis, typically within the first two months of pregnancy, can indicate an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies occur when the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tubes rather than making its way to the uterus where it has space to grow and develop. If not detected and treated promptly, it can result in death, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Abdominal Cramping with Spotting
Abdominal cramping accompanied by spotting or bleeding is an indication of a miscarriage. Miscarriages occur in 20 percent of all pregnancies and generally take place before a woman even realizes she is pregnant. It can happen, however, as late as the 20th week of pregnancy. In most cases, a miscarriage cannot be prevented.
Intense Feelings of Sadness
Intense feelings of sadness that do not go away are indicative of depression, a condition that can occur during and/or after pregnancy. Additional symptoms include changes in appetite, feeling hopeless, becoming irritable or having thoughts of harming ones self or the baby. Treatment usually includes therapy, medication and support groups.
Excessive Thirst, Frequent Urination
Gestational diabetes typically occurs during the second trimester of pregnancy and is due to the mother's inability to produce enough insulin. If any symptoms occur, they usually include extreme thirst or hunger, frequent urination and fatigue. Pills are rarely an option while pregnant, therefore many doctors choose to treat with diet or insulin.
Vaginal Bleeding Accompanied by Cramping
When a woman experiences vaginal bleeding along with abdominal pain, cramping and tenderness in the uterus, she may be experiencing placental abruption. This is a condition in which the placenta pulls away from the wall of the uterus, depriving the fetus of oxygen. If the case is mild, bed rest may be all that is needed. If it is a more severe situation, however, and more than half the placenta has separated, early delivery of the baby may be needed to save its life.
Contractions and Vaginal Discharge
Women who give birth any time prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy are considered to be in preterm labor. Signs of this include abdominal cramping that radiates around to the back, contractions, pressure in your pelvis and an increase in vaginal discharge. Women's Health states that while some medications can help slow or stop preterm labor from progressing, bed rest is often prescribed.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a sign of toxemia, also know as preeclampsia. It is a condition occurring after 20 weeks of pregnancy and its most common symptoms include high blood pressure, blurred vision, headaches and stomach pain. In most cases, the only treatment is delivery of the baby. This is not a problem if the mother is closer to 37 weeks; however, if she is still too early in her pregnancy, the doctor may choose to treat with bed rest and medication to lower her blood pressure.
Anemia is a condition that occurs when the red blood cell count is lower than what it should be. Its symptoms include constant fatigue or feeling faint, becoming short of breath and looking pale. The doctor may prescribe folic acid and iron supplements to help treat the problem. If it becomes severe, a blood transfusion may be necessary.
Constant Nausea and Vomiting
Constant nausea and vomiting are signs of hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that mirrors morning sickness. It is, however, more severe and does not end after the first few weeks. Because of the constant nausea and vomiting, dehydration and weight loss may result. The doctor might first recommend switching to a bland diet (e.g dry toast, rice), but if this is unsuccessful, the mother could require hospitalization in order to receive fluids via an intravenous line.
Late-Term Vaginal Bleeding
Late-term vaginal bleeding is an indication of a condition known as placenta previa, which causes the placenta to cover part or all of the cervical opening inside the uterus. Some women experience no symptoms, while others experience vaginal bleeding without pain during the second or third trimester. If not controlled through bed rest, this can lead to hospitalization or preterm labor.