5 of the Most Common Pregnancy Complications: What You Should Expect

Pregnancy can be full of ups and downs and often unpredictable. In this article, we’ll discuss five common pregnancy complications, including symptoms, for you to be aware of…

Pregnancy can be an exciting time for many, but it can also be a trying experience with lots of complications along the way. If you’re lucky enough to have an ‘easy’ pregnancy, then you may not have experienced common pregnancy complications. However, for many mothers to be, the experience involves common pregnancy complications that can vary in severity.

Some common complications can lead you to a hospital stay where the last thing you want to experience is surgical errors or a medical negligence claim. It’s important you feel looked after but, in the event that you’re let down by a medical professional, you should speak to a legal professional for further advice. 

So, what common complications can lead to a hospital stay? Here are five common complications…

  1. Bleeding

There are many reasons why you could be bleeding at different stages in the pregnancy. Bleeding can occur various reasons, but it’s best if you’re experiencing bleeding to get an opinion from a doctor or midwife. Some causes of bleeding in the early stages on a pregnancy include:

  • Implantation bleeding
  • Cervical changes 
  • Miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy 

Some causes of bleeding in the later stages include: 

  • Cervical changes
  • Vaginal Infections 
  • Signs of labour 
  • Placental abruption 
  • Low-lying placenta 
  • Vasa praevia 

In some cases, you may have to stay in hospital so doctors can monitor you if they’re concerned of anything. This is usually best so that they can act quickly if needs be. 

  1. Ectopic pregnancy

In the UK, around 1 in every 90 pregnancies is ectopic, which equates to roughly 11,000 pregnancies a year. An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb, typically in the fallopian tubes. 

Unfortunately, ectopic pregnancies can’t be saved, and the egg has to be removed using medicine or through an operation. This can be extremely upsetting, and it’s important to seek support should this happen. 

There aren’t always symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, but a routine scan will detect the issue. If you do experience symptoms, they can include a combination of: 

  • Stomach pain low down on one side
  • Bleeding or coloured discharge 
  • Shoulder pain
  • Discomfort going to the toilet 
  • A missed period

An ectopic pregnancy can be fatal, so it’s paramount that you secure a professional opinion in this instance.

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  1. Vomiting 

Perhaps one of the most expected complications of pregnancy is vomiting, but should you be concerned? Around 8 out of 10 pregnant women experience sickness or nausea, or even both, during pregnancy. Contrary to belief, it’s not always in the morning; it can occur at any time. 

For the majority of women, sickness or nausea usually improves or stops by weeks 12 to 20, although for some it can last a lot longer.

Extreme nausea and vomiting is known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). If you’re experiencing this, then it’s best to contact your doctor as you may become dehydrated if you’re not able to keep foods or liquid down.

  1. Preeclampsia 

Formally known as toxaemia, preeclampsia or eclampsia is characterised by pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. Doctors may test a urine sample to check if there’s protein or not to confirm preeclampsia. Other symptoms can include swelling due to fluid retention. 

Preeclampsia can be more common in first pregnancies and can affect about 5% to 8% of all pregnant women. Risk factors for preeclampsia include:

  • A woman carrying multiple foetuses
  • Teenage pregnancy 
  • Pregnancies for women over 40
  • High blood pressure, diabetes, and/or kidney disease 
  • Obesity

Preeclampsia symptoms include:

  • Severe swelling of the hands and face 
  • Blurred vision
  • Stomach pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability 
  • Decreased urine output 

Treating for this complication will depend on the severity of the preeclampsia and the stage of the pregnancy. You may be asked to stay at hospital or put on medicine to lower blood pressure, but your doctor will advise the best course of action. 

  1. Amniotic fluid complications

Amniotic fluid complications involve too much or too little amniotic fluid in the sac around the foetus. It could be a sign that there’s a problem with the pregnancy. 

Too much fluid can put pressure on the mother’s uterus which can cause preterm labour. It can also cause breathing difficulties. A fluid build-up can be a result of uncontrolled diabetes, incompatible bloody types, or defects.

Too little fluid may be a sign of birth defects, issues with growth, or even stillbirth.

Dealing with pregnancy complications…

It can be scary to experience pregnancy complications, even if they’re pretty common. If you have any concerns or doubts, then medical professionals are always at hand to turn to for advice.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.

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