There are several significant health conditions that can go unnoticed or undiagnosed in pregnant women.
Examples of Risky Health Conditions In Pregnancy
1. Preeclampsia (toxemia)
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys. It usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal.
Preeclampsia is the leading cause of maternal and infant illness or death.
2. Gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant.
Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose).
Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health.
The condition that can lead to hyperglycemia, which places the newborn at risk of developing macrosomia, breathing problems, and other health issues.
The term macrosomia is used to describe a newborn with an excessive birth weight. If undiagnosed, it can lead to a difficult delivery, and increase the risks for a cesarean delivery (C-section) and injury to the baby during birth. Babies born with macrosomia are also more likely to have health problems such as obesity and diabetes later in life.
Maternal diabetes is a strong risk factor associated with giving birth to an infant that is considered large for gestational age.
4. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar (glucose) level falls too low. There are several reasons why this may happen, the most common is a side effect of drugs used to treat diabetes.
It can lead to stillbirths, congenital malformations, and other foetal injuries.
A pregnant woman with severe hypoglycemia may appear as if she is intoxicated. She may slur her words and move clumsily.
5. Rh incompatibility
Rh factor is a protein on red blood cells. Rh incompatibility is a condition that occurs during pregnancy if a woman has Rh-negative blood and her baby has Rh-positive blood leading to the development of Rh antibodies. Rh incompatibility can also occur when an Rh-negative female receives an Rh-positive blood transfusion.
Although it is one of risky health conditions in pregnancy, it can easily be tested but can lead to brain damage, seizures, or other infant disorders if left untreated
6. Severe anemia
Severe anemia can be caused by low iron or vitamin levels or from other reasons. Severe anemia during pregnancy increases your risk of premature birth, having a low birth weight baby and postpartum depression
7. Maternal infection
Maternal infection is an infection acquired by the mother who then transmits the infection to the foetus. This transmission can occur via the placenta before delivery or via the birth canal during labour and delivery when the baby is exposed to maternal blood.
If the infection is left undiagnosed and untreated it can cause infection to the newborn baby and cause health issues, such as neonatal sepsis.
8. Gestational trophoblastic disease
Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) is a group of rare tumours that involve abnormal growth of cells inside a woman’s uterus.
GTD does not develop from cells of the uterus like cervical cancer or endometrial (uterine lining) cancer do. Instead, these tumours start in the cells that would normally develop into the placenta during pregnancy.
GTD begins in the layer of cells called the trophoblast that normally surrounds an embryo.
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