Information for Patients
Health Problems in Pregnancy
Every pregnancy has some risk of problems. You may have problems because of a health condition you had before you got pregnant. You could also develop a condition during pregnancy. Other causes of problems during pregnancy can include being pregnant with more than one baby, a health problem in a previous pregnancy, substance abuse during pregnancy, or being over age 35. Any of these can affect your health, the health of your baby, or both.
If you have a chronic condition, you should talk to your health care provider about how to minimize your risk before you get pregnant. Once you are pregnant, you may need a health care team to monitor your pregnancy. Some common conditions that can complicate a pregnancy include
- High blood pressure
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Kidney problems
- Autoimmune disorders
Other conditions that can make pregnancy risky can happen while you are pregnant - for example, gestational diabetes and Rh incompatibility. Good prenatal care can help detect and treat them.
Some discomforts, like nausea, back pain, and fatigue, are common during pregnancy. Sometimes it is hard to know what is normal. Call your health care provider if something is bothering or worrying you.
Menstruation, or period, is a woman's monthly bleeding.Abnormal vaginal bleeding is different from normal menstrual periods. It could be bleeding that is between periods, is very heavy, or lasts much longer than usual. It also includes bleeding that happens before puberty or after menopause. Causes can include
- Uterine fibroids or polyps
- Hormone problems
- Hormone pills, such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy (menopausal hormone therapy)
- Cancer of the cervix, ovaries, uterus or vagina
- Thyroid problems
Bleeding during pregnancy can have several different causes. It is not always serious, but to be safe you should contact your health care provider right away.
Pelvic exams, blood tests, imaging tests, and other procedures can help your health care provider diagnose the problem. Treatment depends on the cause. Treatments may include medicines, hormones, and surgery.