Pregnancy complications are not rare which, however, does not mean that you will experience them too. In addition, not all are dangerous and even the most serious pregnancy complications can be often either prevented or successfully treated. Nevertheless, it is very important to be aware that there is always a possibility of something going wrong and by learning to recognize potential problems, you will know when it is necessary to seek medical attention by which you may be able to prevent further complications.
Here are some of the most common pregnancy complications and their signs.
High blood pressure and preeclampsia. You will not feel any symptoms of high blood pressure unless dangerously high, however, all pregnant women are monitored for high blood pressure and your health care provider will detect it before it gets too high. High blood pressure during pregnancy sometimes leads to preeclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition marked by high blood pressure and protein in urine. Mild preeclampsia may not cause any problems but as it worsens, you may experience sudden swelling in the face and hands, rapid weight gain, abdominal pain, severe headaches, vision disturbances, dizziness and decreased urination. It is necessary to seek immediate medical help if experiencing symptoms of preeclampsia.
Gestational diabetes. It is a type of diabetes (high blood sugar) that exclusively affects pregnant women. If left untreated, it can cause serious complications for both the mother and her baby. Although it does not cause any symptoms until blood sugar levels are dangerously high, it rarely goes unnoticed because your health care provider will check your blood sugar levels during your prenatal care visits. Gestational diabetes is often successfully controlled with lifestyle changes alone.
Miscarriage. Loss of pregnancy before the 20th week of pregnancy, unfortunately, is not uncommon and about 15 to 20 percent of women have a miscarriage. Signs of miscarriage include vaginal bleeding or spotting, passage of tissue and abdominal pain or cramping.
Preterm labor. The earlier the delivery the greater the risk of potentially serious complications for your baby. Sometimes preterm labor can be stopped giving your baby more time to develop and mature. For that reason it is crucial to seek emergency medical care if experiencing signs of preterm labor which may include contractions at regular intervals that last more than one hour, abdominal cramping, backache and increased vaginal discharge.
Ectopic pregnancy. If a fertilized egg attaches itself outside the uterus, the pregnancy cannot proceed normally. It may initially feel like a normal pregnancy but soon signs occur that reveal a problem. The most common symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramping, pain on one side of the pelvis, dizziness, and pain in the neck or shoulder.
Iron deficiency anemia. If your body does not have enough iron, it makes fewer red blood cells and less hemoglobin which plays the key role in supply of oxygen to your cells as well as to your baby. The most common symptoms include tiredness, weakness, dizziness, pale skin, shortness of breath, headaches and difficulty concentrating. It can be successfully treated with iron supplements.
Placenta previa. It is relatively rare complication in which the placenta partially or completely blocks the cervical opening. The main sign of placenta previa is painless vaginal bleeding during the second half of pregnancy.
It is also possible to develop some other complications of pregnancy some of which can be very dangerous as well. Make sure that you contact your doctor if developing any unexplained and disturbing symptoms in order to determine the cause and receive proper treatment if necessary. Call your doctor immediately if experiencing vaginal bleeding or/and increased vaginal discharge, fever, severe headaches, sudden swelling in the face and hands, persistent nausea with or without vomiting, abdominal pain or discomfort, dizziness, burning sensation while urinating and vision disturbances.