Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Nobody said being a mother was easy. It comes with its own set of complications and health hazards. But when the mother gets to hold the bundle of joy at the end of 9 tedious months, all the tensions seem to vanish off instantly. Complications can arise during pregnancy for an ‘n’ number of reasons. Sometimes the existing health of the woman paves the way for health hazards whereas in other cases hormonal changes in the body trigger a series of changes making the body more vulnerable to external threats by toning down the immunity prowess. In case if you are experiencing any discomfort, consult your doctor immediately.

Various Types of Complications Possible During Pregnancy

Discussed Below Are The Most Common Complications Found Plaguing Pregnant Mothers:-

#1. Gestational Diabetes: A Hidden Complication That Can Occur During Pregnancy

This category of diabetes is associated with pregnancy and keeps the risk radar active even after delivery. It is triggered by the resistance of insulin, exactly similar to what happens in the Type II form of diabetes. In Gestational diabetes the human body becomes resistant to insulin hormone. During gestational diabetes it is hard to notice any visible signs in pregnant mothers and most of them go ahead with a healthy and timely labor; however, this diabetes type shall accentuate the chances of the offspring being born with a mature size.

Other associated risks include respiratory disease syndrome, jaundice, hypoglycemia and extremely low mineral content in blood.

How To Deal With Gestational Diabetes?

This diabetes form can be treated by bringing about a change in the dietary plan and strictly monitoring level of sugar in the blood. Sometimes doctors may suggest oral medications for fighting the gestational diabetes. The main aim of a pregnant lady should be to keep her sugar level under the prescribed limit throughout her pregnancy and even after it gets over since the child still relies of breast milk.

#2. Incompetent Cervix: A Serious Complication That Can Occur During Pregnancy

Just as the baby keeps on growing, continuous pressure is exerted on the mother’s cervix which in extreme cases can open the cervix before the baby’s birth. Such a situation is known as incompetent cervix or cervical insufficiency in medical terms and is a complication that can occur during pregnancy. Women with a history of cervical surgery or who have a record of pregnancy complications, stand more vulnerable to incompetent cervix during pregnancy. The symptoms of this complication during pregnancy are extremely vague and women usually can’t make out anything about the shortening or thinning of cervix. Incompetent cervix does not bring along bouts of pain making it all the more difficult to detect. Rare cases of stomach cramping or pressure building have been reported by medical experts.

How To Deal With Incompetent Cervix?

Ultrasound method is used in measuring the cervix length. Your physician may suggest progesterone hormone, bed rest or a surgery termed as cerclage wherein the cervix is stitched. Various factors such as length of the cervix, length of gestation and previous pregnancy outcomes are taken into consideration before deciding upon the cervical insufficiency treatment.

#3. Ectopic Pregnancy: A Dangerous Complication That Can Occur During Pregnancy

When the fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus it is termed as an ectopic pregnancy. Usually the egg settles in any of the fallopian tubes and due to space shortage or lack of nurturing tissues, the fetus may get devoid of proper development. The mother’s reproductive system gets severely damaged and she can feel excruciating pain in cases of ectopic pregnancy. This pregnancy complication might even take a life-threatening shape. The pregnant mother might hemorrhage if the fetus grows immensely causing the fallopian tube to burst. Ectopic pregnancy is a complication that can crop up when the cell tissue growing in the uterus suddenly grows in some other place or any sexually transmitted infection ravages the fallopian tubes.

How To Deal With Ectopic Pregnancy?

Chances of the fetus surviving in an ectopic pregnancy is absolutely zero and it takes the help of a gynaecologist to treat such cases by bringing along the best of surgical and medical procedures.

#4. Placenta Previa: A Rare Complication That Can Occur During Pregnancy

This rare complication might arise when the placenta either partially or completely covers the cervix by attaching itself to the lower portion of the pregnant mom’s uterine wall. Such risks are usually prevalent in between the second and third trimester of pregnancy; however, the chances of women developing placenta previa during the onset of pregnancy season cannot also be ignored. The second and third trimesters can also be accompanied with placenta previa which may result into heavy vaginal bleeding. When left untreated, this pregnancy complication can pave the path for trauma or death.

How To Deal With Placenta Previa?

Research studies suggest that the low-lying placenta once detected in the early phase can be cured by health experts. Doctor’s supervision is mandatory in the cases of placental abnormality. In case, if you are lucky enough then the placenta shall shift back to its desired position without any external medical interference.

#5. Placental Abruption: A Serious Complication That Can Occur During Pregnancy

This pregnancy complication arises when the placenta gets detached either completely or partially from the uterus before the baby’s birth. The fetus is completely dependent on its mother for receiving the nutrition, but once the placenta gets detached, its nutrition tube gets snatched away. Such complication can take shape during the pregnancy’s third trimester and come with the common symptoms of contractions, vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain.

Research studies are still being carried to detect the exact cause behind placental abruption. Some suggest physical trauma as the main culprit whereas others indicate high blood pressure for disrupting the connectivity in between uterus and the placenta. Pregnant mothers having a tendency of high blood pressure stand much more vulnerable to the threats of placental abruption. The number of pregnancies a woman underwent previously also has a direct correlation with the chances of placental abruption.

How To Deal With Placental Abruption?

In case you have experienced placental abruption in your earlier pregnancies, then there are 10% chances of falling prey to the same this time too and therefore it is better to be under the direct supervision of a gynaecologist. One should also give up drugs and cigarettes as these increases the chances of placental abruption.

#6. Differential Levels of Fluids in Placenta

Fluid in placenta is of high significance as it acts as buffer against trauma and thus protects the fetus from external shock. Fluid in placenta aids in maintaining the ideal temperature for the baby’s proper growth. Excess or shortfall of amniotic fluid can create disruption in the womb’s normal functioning. In case of low amniotic fluid, the baby does not develop proper limbs, muscles, lungs and its digestive system remains under developed. Usually amniotic fluid volatility does not pose a major threat; however, it might lead to placental abruption, postpartum haemorrhage and preterm delivery in extreme cases. During the second trimester of the pregnancy, as the fetus starts sucking in amniotic fluid and practices breathing, an excess or absence of fluid is experienced.

How To Deal With It?

Doctors may prescribe pumping in saline solution in the placental sac for those suffering from decreased levels of fluid to reduce chances of injury or compression of the fetus’ organs. Women suffering from excess amniotic fluid might require medications for bringing down the fluid production. Amnioreduction, which refers to the process of draining out excess fluids, might be considered if medications alone can’t control the production levels of amniotic fluid. If there are no visible results, a cesarean delivery or induced pregnancy may be carried out.

#7. Premature Labor: A Fatal Complication That Can Occur During Pregnancy

Any delivery occurring after the twentieth and before the thirty-seventh week is termed as premature labor. Mothers are diagnosed with the same when effacement or opening of the cervix occurs. Cases of premature labor usually occur very spontaneously in majority of the cases however in some cases complications may take shape associated with delivery, which could take up a fatal shape for both the mother and her unborn child. In these cases, the gynecologist may recommend premature delivery.

Premature Delivery Is Triggered By The Following Factors:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Smoking
  • An incompetent cervix
  • Infection in urinary tract
  • History of multiple abortions

How To Deal With Premature Labor?

Prompt medical attention is required to cater to preterm labor. Such a woman can be advised bed rest by doctor and medications might be prescribed for stopping the contractions. Further, with the help of doctor’s treatment regime and by following certain precautions, as advised by the gynecologist, the pregnant woman can deliver a healthy baby exactly at the end of the term.

#8. Molar Pregnancy: Very Rare Complication That Can Occur During Pregnancy

This complication arises when an irregular agglomeration forms inside the uterus, post fertilization. The embryo gets replaced by this irregular agglomeration. This placental abnormality is extremely rare. Molar pregnancies are of two types, partial or complete. The later occurs when a vacant egg is fertilized by sperm. This leads to production of hCG pregnancy hormone along with the growth of the placenta without any fetus inside. The partial form of pregnancy denotes the mass formation containing both the embryo having severe defects and abnormal cells. In such a scenario, the growing irregular agglomeration quickly overcomes the fetus. This is a very uncommon complication that can occur during pregnancy.

How To Deal With Molar Pregnancy?

Molar pregnancy might turn cancerous if not treated properly. It might call for an urgent procedure called as D&C i.e. dilation and curettage. It is highly recommended to keep on following up with your physician as the chances of relapse are pretty much high.

#9. Preeclampsia: A Pregnancy Complication That Should Not Be Ignored

This condition is marked by increased levels of protein in urine and high blood pressure of the pregnant mother. Medical experts are still researching about the exact cause of preeclampsia. This complication in pregnancy can range from easy-going to severe and can bring along the following symptoms of upper abdominal pain, severe headaches, sudden weight gain, blurred eyesight, dizziness, nausea, swelling in various parts of body, decreased urine outflow and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms, then don’t hesitate to pay your doctor a visit. Usually preeclampsia does no harm to the mother, but can prevent the free flow of oxygen to the fetus leading to complications such as HELLP syndrome, slow growth, seizures or eclampsia, placental abruption, preterm weight and breathing trouble for the new-born.

How To Deal With Preeclampsia?

Early delivery is the only way out in cases of preeclampsia; however, in certain cases doctors might even suggest bed rest and medications which can help in lowering down the blood pressure level in pregnant moms, thus increasing the blood flowing to the placenta. In cases of seizures, doctors may prescribe anti-seizure medicines and in cases where early delivery is required, corticosteroids may be suggested for maturing the baby’s lungs. Antihypertensive may be prescribed for treating high blood pressure level.

#10. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Preventable Complication That Can Occur During Pregnancy

Alcohol consumption should be strictly avoided by pregnant mothers. There lie thousands of evidences linking alcohol with birth defects and even miscarriage in certain extreme cases. The intake of alcohol which crosses over the placenta leads to stunted brain development and growth in the baby. These physical and mental defects in the fetus are termed as fetal alcohol syndrome.

How To Deal With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Stopping alcohol consumption is the only way to deal with fetal alcohol syndrome. One can take help of pregnant mother’s group where one can get motivated to live life alcohol free.

#11. Eclampsia: A Complication That Can Occur During Pregnancy

In extreme cases of preeclampsia, the mother’s central nervous may get compromised and results in multiple seizures.

How To Deal With Eclampsia?

Such a health condition needs to be treated immediately as it might turn fatal, if ignored. If the prenatal healthcare condition is strong enough, then cases of preeclampsia progressing into eclampsia are extremely rare.

#12. Venous Thrombosis: A Common Complication That Can Occur During Pregnancy

Whenever we get hurt, it is a common phenomenon for blood to clot in the vein, marking a dark patch on the overlying skin. This phenomenon is known as venous thrombosis and is very common in pregnant women, especially during the postpartum stage; women are found to suffer from this complication of pregnancy. The clotting ability of the body increases during the childbirth. In most of the cases the clots are not formed deep into the veins, however, the probability of Deep Vein Thrombosis cannot be completely ruled out. Pregnant mothers are often susceptible to clot formation if they:are over 30 years of age smoke have thrombosis in their family history
are overweight had already undergone labor previously had a caesarean delivery previously maintain a sedentary lifestyle confined to bed

How To Deal With Venous Thrombosis?

Regular visits to the gynecologist post delivery can help in diagnosing this complication of pregnancy quite easily. Anti-clotting medications are generally prescribed to treat this condition.

#13. Miscarriage: The Commonest Pregnancy Complication

This is one of the most common pregnancy complications which can arise during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. The exact reason that triggers miscarriages, apart from the external shock or trauma, has not yet been established but health statistics have revealed this casualty to happen during the first 13 weeks, which is also known as the first trimester. Sometimes the physical incapacity of the mother’s reproductive system prevents the proper development of the baby. Miscarriage is also known as spontaneous abortion since by this process our body gets rid of the fetus itself in a manner similar to procedural abortion. Sudden disappearance of pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness as well as suffering from cramping and abdominal pain can be indicative of miscarriage.

How To Deal With Miscarriage?

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy should be taken seriously as it might indicate early signs of miscarriage. Usually miscarriages do not require any surgical intervention if it occurs within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy as the tissue dissolves or passes down spontaneously but in rare cases, the tissue might not pass in the usual manner requiring a minor operating procedure.

#14. HELLP Syndrome: A Collection Of Symptoms That Can Occur During Pregnancy

This health condition leads to blood and liver abnormalities and can occur by itself or along with preeclampsia. Some symptoms experienced during HELLP syndrome are nausea, headaches, gastrointestinal pain and severe itching.

How To Deal With HELLP Syndrome?

Whenever a mother is diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, in order to prevent harm to lungs, nervous system and kidneys, doctors might recommend going for an emergency labour induction to facilitate delivery and to deal with this complication that can occur during pregnancy.

Conclusion

Pregnancy is the most beautiful gift of the nature. A lot of care is required during these 9 months to ensure a healthy delivery. With little precautions and timely physician visits, a pregnant woman can expect a healthy baby into her lap.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: June 25, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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