When you are pregnant, your body is undergoing a number of changes. Many of them are uncomfortable. Except for a lucky few, most expectant mothers suffer various degrees of discomfort during the course of their pregnancy.
However, most of them are normal. Some of them can indicate more serious medical conditions and you need to seek medical advice for them without wasting any time. Delay can seriously harm the mother or the baby or both. Some of these complications are ectopic pregnancy, preeclampsia, pelvic girdle pain, bleeding and hypertension.
Your body is under considerable stress and strain during pregnancy. In many cases, a number of medical conditions may develop. Most of them are harmless and are treated with nominal intervention. However, some of the complications can assume alarming proportions and may even threaten the life of the mother and the fetus. Early detection and monitoring is a must.
Common medical conditions during pregnancy
When you are pregnant, you can experience a number of the given common conditions. However, they are not harmful, though they are uncomfortable. Some of these are as follows:
- Nausea and vomiting, commonly called morning sickness is a common affliction which affects women during the first trimester. Though it is common and harmless, it can be quite exhausting.
- Backache is an obvious by product of pregnancy. Your body now has to carry extra weight and the center of gravity has shifted. This creates pressure on the lower back and the upper parts of the legs. In many cases, the swelling uterus may press against a nerve or a blood vessel, causing the pain.
- Edema is another medical condition. Though it is common and mostly harmless, it can be taken as a symptom of something more serious if other signs are seen. Edema is the swelling of feet. It is generally caused when the uterus creates pressure on the major blood vessels running to the lower extremities.
- Another common medical condition that is seen in 21% to 62% cases of pregnancy is the carpal tunnel syndrome. It is closely related to edema. Pain occurs in the toes and fingers as the swelling creates pressure on the nerves.
- Constipation is one of the most common medical condition in pregnancy. It is inability to pas stool frequently. Hormonal changes like the increase in the level of progesterone occurs so that the body can absorb maximum nutrients. This means the muscles of the rectum becomes too relaxed for bowel movement.
- Hemorrhoids are a painful condition where the veins surrounding the anus swell up. Swelling of certain blood vessels and the stomach creates pressure on the vein giving rise to this medical condition.
- The increased pressure exerted on the blood vessel and nerves may also cause varicose veins.
Though all these medical conditions are common, they are not especially harmful. Still, they can be very uncomfortable. You should consult your doctor for relief, but try non medical remedies. For example, ginger has been found to work well to reduce nausea. Similarly, edema can be reduced by keeping the feet elevated. In any case, you should not ingest any medication without consulting your doctor.
Serious medical conditions during pregnancy
While the above are common, they are not harmful. But you may experience a number of medical conditions which can have serious implications for you or your baby. these symptoms may appear at any time and you need to be alert.
- Bleeding is not at all desirable during pregnancy. In many cases, spotting is common. This is where spots of blood appear. However, bleeding implies a larger quantity of blood. It can happen due to a number of reasons. When heavy bleeding occurs along with cramping and abdominal pain, it may indicate a more serious condition and immediate medical care is necessary.
- Cramping and pain are common, but if they are acute or frequent or occur in addition to other problems like bleeding, immediate medical attention is needed.
- Though morning sickness is common, one of its more dangerous forms is the hyperemesis gravidarum. This is an extreme form of nausea and vomiting which is difficult to control. If this persists, it can lead to dehydration of the mother with serious complications for the baby.
- Another serious medical condition is maternal hypertension. This rise in blood pressure is another common problem during pregnancy. If BP exceeds 160/110 and the amount of proteinurea is above 300mg, the condition is described as severe hypertensive state.
- Closely related to this is the problem of anemia. Since a lot of blood is diverted to nurture the child, less blood is supplied to the rest of the body. As a result, amount of iron may decline. This condition is known as anemia. It is common in pregnancy and the major reason why iron tablets are almost always prescribed in pregnancy. However, in some cases, it may become severe affecting the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the baby.
- The pelvic girdle pain is a type of backache. Pain develops in the lower back due to a number of diverse factors. if it disappears with delivery (as it most often does) then it is not much of a worry. However, in case of some women, it may persist long after the child has been born. It affects the gait and the tolerance to lifting large weights may be reduced.
- One of the most serious problems which expectant mothers can face is that the activity level of the fetus drops markedly or stops altogether. It is best to count the daily kicks to understand if this has happened. You can try a few home remedies like eat or drink something cold and sleep on your left. But it is best to consult a medical practitioner without losing time.
- Symptoms of flu can also be found in some expectant mothers.
- Preeclampsia is one of the most serious medical conditions which mostly develop in the third trimester. You have to watch out for a number of symptoms. You can suffer from severe anemia, severe and persistent headache with flashes in front of the eyes, high blood pressure and high protein in urine. All these require immediate medical attention because if not checked, it can give rise to ecclampsia that is a potentially fatal medical condition.
- Early contractions are another serious condition and may develop due to a number of reasons. It can often lead to preterm delivery.
- Seizure disorder is encountered in 1 in 200 pregnancies. It is a neurological disorder consisting of disorganized firing of neural cells. It leads to increased risk of congenital neural defects in the baby and also increases the risk of toxemia in the mother.
- Another very common condition encountered during pregnancy is asthma. Generally, there is a preexisting condition which worsens with pregnancy. It may lead to preterm labor and increase the risk of retardation of growth of the fetus.
- 3 to 5% of expectant mothers develop gestational diabetes and of them, 50% are likely to develop diabetes later in life. Data shows that risk of preeclampsia, stillbirths and birth anomalies are greater if gestational diabetes is present.
It is necessary to remain under medical supervision and strictly avoid all over the counter medication while you are pregnant.
You may also try the following links