What Problems May Arise During Pregnancy?

Although pregnancy is a physiological process, it may lead to several complications. Each year millions of women suffer from pregnancy related health problems. As many as half a million pregnant women die each year due complications arising due to pregnancy and childbirth and many more millions suffer life threatening conditions due to pregnancy. Some of women suffering from pregnancy related complication; the problem may become permanent, meaning the health problem persists after delivery. Most of the pregnancy related complications that arise during pregnancy can be prevented or reduced with proper care before conception and proper antenatal care. The medical/health condition of the woman before pregnancy plays an important role in development of complications during pregnancy.

The following health problems may arise due to pregnancy:

  • Anemia: This is a common problem during pregnancy, especially in developing countries. Iron demand increases during pregnancy due to growing fetus, increase in blood volume, increase in size of uterus etc.
  • Constipation: this complaint is due to reduced bowel motility.
  • Hemorrhoids: venous system may be congested due to increased pressure to major vein bringing blood from lower part of the body, i.e. IVC (inferior vena cava). Constipation during pregnancy also plays a role, as well as size of uterus which put pressure.
  • Varicose veins: this is due to relaxation of smooth muscles of the veins. Venous pressure is also high due to compression on major veins.
  • Edema: common complaint during pregnancy due to compression of inferior vena cava.
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Back pain: back pain is common during later months of pregnancy, which is due to shifting of center of gravity due to bulging abdomen.
  • GIT problems: Problems such as nausea, heartburn, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), food regurgitation etc. may occur during pregnancy. These problems occur due to relaxation of LES (lower esophageal sphincter) and increased intraabdominal pressure (due to growing uterus and fetus).
  • Psychiatric problems: Many pregnant women suffer from psychiatric problems during and after pregnancy.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: this is fairly common complication during pregnancy and estimated to occur in 20% to 60% pregnancies.
  • Skin diseases: some skin conditions may occur during pregnancy such as itching, red plaques, papules etc.
  • Braxton Hicks contraction: irregular and painless contractions of uterus.
  • Thromboembolic disorders: due to venous stasis and relaxation of smooth muscles of veins.
  • Pain in pelvic girdle
  • Pain in Round ligament: this ligament supports the growing uterus.

It is important to have good and balanced nutrition during pregnancy to avoid some of the complications. Proper nutrition should be started before conception to get best results. Regular and proper antenatal care is essential for smooth running of pregnancy and safe delivery.

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