There are numerous factors responsible for a high risk pregnancy, which include obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. The following article provides information about the main reasons behind pregnancy-related complications.
A high risk pregnancy is the one in which the health of the mother and/or the unborn child is at a risk. The risk factors include alcohol abuse, drug abuse, radiation therapy, complications in previous pregnancy, or complications due to a pre-existing medical conditions that might adversely affect the mother and/or child during the pregnancy.
Studies have shown that certain drugs when taken during pregnancy may cause certain complications and even birth defects. Examples of such drugs are antibiotics such as tetracycline and streptomycin, and immunosuppressants like methotrexate and isotretinoin.
Intake of certain addictive substances such as alcohol, cocaine, and even smoking can lead to complications. Alcohol abuse could cause fetal alcohol syndrome that could lead to mental retardation or other physical defects in the fetus, cocaine can cause premature birth or stillbirth, and smoking can slow down the growth of fetus, thereby increasing the risk of behavioral and mental problems in the child.
Being underage, i.e., less than fifteen years or more than thirty five years of age, can cause complications during pregnancy. Also, being underweight, i.e., weighing less than hundred pounds, or having a short stature are some of the major reasons of complications during pregnancy. Underage women who become pregnant may suffer from anemia, and their babies too are at an increased risk of being underweight. Women over the age of 45 are more likely to develop high blood pressure and stillbirth. Obesity increases the risk of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and cesarean delivery.
A woman who is already affected by medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, a heart disease, or a kidney disease is at a risk of developing health problems during her pregnancy.
Previous Pregnancy Complications
Another risk factor is the complications of previous pregnancy such as a premature baby, an overweight or underweight baby, a miscarriage, a cesarean delivery, a stillborn child, or a child with certain birth defects. A woman who has experienced any of these conditions in her first pregnancy, is at a greater risk of developing complications during her second one, as compared to a woman who has had a normal delivery previously.
Abnormalities in Uterus
Any kind of abnormality in the structure or the placement of the uterus can also increase complications. A woman whose fetus is abnormally placed in the uterus, may need a cesarean delivery. Reproductive abnormalities can also sometimes lead to a miscarriage or stillbirth.
In order to detect and overcome complications that arise due to pre-existing medical conditions, it is necessary that a woman undergoes various tests for its detection. These tests include an ultrasound, first trimester screening, chorionic villus sampling, fetal blood sampling, and fetal monitoring. Also, biophysical profile, Doppler flow studies, amniocentesis, and alpha fetoprotein can also be conducted to detect any condition, which might develop any complication. Through these tests, any risk and complication that the woman or the child may face can be identified and treated beforehand. Early screening and treatment can certainly help ensure a safe pregnancy.