It was reported that about 90% of pregnant woman face certain complications. Fortunately, severe pregnancy complications are relatively rare.
Abortion/early pregnancy loss/miscarriage
Spontaneous abortion is a pregnancy termination before 20 weeks’ of gestation and when the weight of the fetus is less than 500 g. About 80% of abortions happen before the 12 week of gestation, sometimes a woman may even not know that she was pregnant. Many fetal and maternal factors may contribute to the pregnancy loss including abnormalities and genetic disorders of the embryo, mothers’ chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders etc.
After the fertilization the embryo should attach to the lining of the uterus. When the embryo attaches outside of the uterus the condition is called an ectopic pregnancy. The most common type of ectopic pregnancy is a tubal pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes mellitus is a type of diabetes (high blood glucose levels) which is detected for the first time when a woman is pregnant. Usually after the delivery the symptoms of gestational diabetes resolve, though such woman are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the future.
Hypertensive disorders occur in 5-10% of all pregnancies.
- Gestational hypertension
Gestational hypertension is diagnosed when blood pressure in a pregnant woman is higher than 140 mm Hg systolic or 90 mm Hg diastolic and this is detected after 20 weeks of pregnancy whereas prior to pregnancy this woman has normal arterial pressure.
Preeclampsia is a syndrome characterized by the hypertension, proteinuria (abnormal protein excretion with urine) and swellings (edema).
- HELLP syndrome
This condition is characterized by the hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count. It may be considered a form or a complication of preeclampsia.
The condition when a woman with preeclampsia experiences the tonic-clonic seizures is called eclampsia. Eclampsia as well as preeclampsia may result in multiorgan failure.
Iron-deficiency anemia is common in pregnant women, especially late in the pregnancy complications, due to the needs of the growing fetus.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe morning sickness. The onset of this condition usually takes place at the 4th week and lasts until the 20th week or even longer.
Preterm labor is a birth of a child before the completed 37 week of gestation. Babies born after the completed 34 week and before the completed 36 week are considered late preterm and those born before the completed 34 week are identified as early preterm.
Preterm children face a lot of health problems and should be carefully observed and treated.
Preterm premature rupture of membranes
Preterm premature rupture of membranes is a spontaneous rupture of the fetal membranes before the onset of labor or before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. PPRM happens due to infections, low body mass of the mother-to-be, nutritional deficiencies and smoking.
Intrauterine growth restriction
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a retardation of the fetus growth. IUGR has two forms symmetrical and asymmetrical. In 70% cases asymmetrical IUGR is observed. This form is characterized by the low body weight whereas the head is normal or almost normal. Symmetrical growth restriction (global growth restriction) is diagnosed when all the baby’s body is symmetrically small in comparison to other children of the same gestational age.
IUGR risk factors are the following:
- Placental of umbilical cord abnormalities;
- Fetal malformations;
- Genetic abnormalities;
- Drugs, alcohol and toxins influence;
- Chronic medical conditions of the mother;
- Poor weight gain during pregnancy;
- Nutritional deficiencies and eating disorders;
Postterm pregnancy complications
A pregnancy is considered postterm when it lasts longer than 42 weeks. The child born with a very characteristic appearance known as postmaturity syndrome. The features include wrinkled peeling skin, thin body, long nails, and high alertness.
When a baby is born with no signs of life between 20 and 28 weeks of pregnancy the condition is defined s stillbirth.
Placenta praevia is when the placenta fully or partially covers the entrance of the cervix.