Pregnancy can be defined as the nine month long gestation period of the fetus from the time of conception to the actual birth. The entire period of development of the fetus is spent within the mother’s uterus. Pregnancy is one of the most exciting and joyous times of a woman’s life. The mother and unborn child are connected to each other in a way that no other relationship is. The fetus is entirely dependent on the woman for all its nourishment and functional needs.
The food that the mother eats is broken down into simpler forms and passed on to the fetus through an organ called the placenta. Pregnancy brings about many changes in a woman’s body. The basic functioning and structure of a pregnant body is very different from that of any other normal person. This is because carrying a baby is no ordinary feat for a woman.
From the moment of conception many different processes start taking place inside the body. Different chemicals and hormones are pumped into the bloodstream to pave the way for the development of the fetus. These hormones are the main reason for the physiological changes that occur in the body as well. Most women notice the same type of alterations which are considered normal in medical terms.
But in some cases the body may react very differently to these alterations. Such a situation can make the entire period of pregnancy to be fraught with dangers and risks. A woman can suffer from many different problems if the body reacts adversely to some of the chemical and hormonal changes. This is why it is very important for every pregnant woman to be monitored very closely by a doctor for the entire nine months.
The maternal and fetal mortality rate has been dropping significantly over the years because of better healthcare and precautionary advice that is being provided to expectant mothers in recent times. No small discrepancy or problem should go unreported because it can be a sign of a more serious underlying problem which can even be harmful to the mother and child. It is very important for all pregnant women to be aware of basic information about the different types of complications that can occur during the gestational period.
Complications During Pregnancy
Here is a list of the most commonly reported complications that can occur during the time of pregnancy.
Hypertension can be defined as higher than normal levels of blood pressure (normal reading is 120/80). The body works much harder than normal when there is a fetus in the womb which can sometimes cause the blood pressure to go out of control.
This can be a potentially dangerous situation because it can lead to dizziness, nausea and sometimes even endanger the unborn baby. This is why blood pressure is always recorded at every monthly pre-natal visit.
This situation is becoming increasingly common in modern times. The problem of preeclampsia has two different conditions that are comprised within it. The patient usually records a consistently high level of blood pressure as well as evidence of protein matter in the urine. This makes it essential for regular urine analysis tests to be conducted at least every two months during pregnancy. Preeclampsia can even lead to maternal and fetal death in severe cases.
This is a relatively rare type of pregnancy problem. The fertilized egg usually travels down from the ovaries and into the fallopian tubes. From here it is supposed to go into the uterus and implant into the walls. But in some cases, the egg may get stuck in the fallopian tubes and not travel any further. The egg continues to grow within the tubes. This may cause rupture or damage in the tubes if not detected in time. The problem usually occurs in the first few weeks of pregnancy and the symptoms are abdominal pain, bleeding and nausea.
Diabetes mellitus is a problem where the body is unable produce to any or enough insulin to control the levels of blood sugar. This problem can affect the non-pregnant problem as well. During pregnancy, the body may start malfunctioning due to hormonal changes and suffer from this problem. Many women who are not diabetics may also have this problem.
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But it has been seen that risks of having gestational diabetes are higher for women who are overweight or suffer from PCOS. GD can be detected through an oral glucose tolerance test which is conducted in the seventh month of pregnancy. Untreated GD can lead to a spontaneous abortion, premature birth and abnormally large baby. Women who have GD also have a chance of having diabetes later in life.
The placenta is the sac which carries the nutrition form the mother’s body into the fetus. It is very important for the normal development of the unborn baby. It is usually embedded into the walls so as to maintain a constant connection with the mother. In some cases the placenta may attach itself too low in the uterus and be very close to the actual opening of the cervix.
It may even completely or partially block the cervical opening which can lead to complications during birth. This problem can sometimes even resolve on its own in a few weeks. But if it occurs too late in the pregnancy, the only solution may be an emergency C section. It can be easily detected through the help of a normal ultrasound scan.
Low Amniotic Fluid
Amniotic fluid is the liquid that surrounds your baby in the amniotic sac. It serves as a shock absorbing cushion as well as a temperature thermostat for the fetus while it is in the womb. The level of amniotic fluid is very crucial for the normal development of the fetus. Some women may have a low level of this fluid during pregnancy.
It can be very dangerous if it happens in the last trimester because the baby gets bigger and needs even more protection. The problem can be alleviated a little by bed rest and consumption of lots of fluids. Low amniotic fluid can lead to premature birth or fetal abnormalities.