Dr.sathya balasubramanyam

MD DNB MRCOG (UK) FNB(Reprod med)

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Pregnancy, though the most beautiful and memorable period in a woman’s life, is also a time when she experiences more stress both physically and emotionally. Health problems that occur in the woman either during or before the beginning of pregnancy will highly influence the health of the foetus as well, contributing to a high-risk pregnancy.

A high-risk pregnancy is identified as a case of pregnancy when the mother and child are at a greater risk of complication than in normal cases. They can be a threat to the life of the mother or foetus.

high risk pregnancy

Risk Factors Leading to High-Risk Pregnancy

A number of factors influence the occurrence of high-risk pregnancy. Existing health conditions of the mother such as elevated levels of blood pressure, diabetes or autoimmune disorders are some of them.

Being overweight or obese can highly contribute to this condition as well. Possibility for multiple births, getting pregnant at a very young or older age contributes to increased chances of high-risk pregnancy.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is known to interfere with pregnancy in some cases. They can cause miscarriages or contribute to the occurrence of gestational diabetes in mothers. Premature births and preeclampsia are often associated with this syndrome. Preeclampsia is another factor affecting pregnancy. It is marked by an elevation in blood pressure of the mother by the 20th week of pregnancy. 

Thyroid diseases, if not managed well, might increase the risks associated with pregnancy. Thyroid hormones play a vital role in controlling blood pressure and heart rates. If their levels fall below or above the stipulated rates, they might cause complications like birth defects, poor weight gain or heart failures in the foetus.

Many women having their first pregnancy after the age of 35 years are known to have some complications associated with it, such as excessive bleeding at the time of labour, genetic disorders such as Down's syndrome in the baby, prolonged labour, need for caesarian birth and so on. Pregnancy at a very young age like teenage is also known to come in the high-risk category, probably because of issues such as anaemia.

Gestational diabetes is a major cause of high-risk pregnancy. These develop for the first time during the pregnancy time. If they are brought under control with an adequate treatment and diet plan, the woman can experience a problem-free pregnancy period. However, an increased level of gestational diabetes increases risks of preeclampsia and preterm labour.

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Dr. Sathya Balasubramanyam

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