A high-risk pregnancy is the one that threatens the health or life of the mother or her foetus. In this kind of pregnancy, one requires specialised care. Some pregnancies become high risk as they progress, while some women are at increased risk for complication even before they get pregnant for a variety of reasons. Early and regular pre-natal care helps many women have healthy pregnancies and deliveries without complications.
Risk factors for a high-risk pregnancy are-
- Overweight and obesity:Obesity increases the risk of high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, GDM, still birth, neural tube defects and caesarean delivery.
- Multiple births: The risk of complications is higher in women carrying more than one foetus. Common complications are pre-eclampsia, premature labour and preterm birth. More than 93% of triplets are born at less than 37 weeks.
- Young or old maternal age: Pregnancy in less than 18 years and more than 35 years increases the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension.
- Health conditions: Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, heart disorders, breathing problems, infections and blood clotting disorders such as DVT can increase the pregnancy risk.
- Surgical history: A history of surgery on the uterus, including multiple c-section, abdominal surgeries or surgeries for fibroid tumours, can increase pregnancy risk.
- Pregnancy complications: Various complications that develop during pregnancy can increase risk. Examples are- abnormal placental position i.e. abruptio placenta, foetal growth less than 10th percentile (IUGR) and RH sensitisation. RH sensitisation is a serious condition in which mother’s blood group is RH-ve and foetal blood group is RH+ve.
- Life style choices: Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs can put a pregnancy at risk.
- Chronic kidney disease: Patient having chronic kidney disease with pregnancy also falls in the category of high risk.
- HIV:Also, is a risk factor in pregnancy and it can pass to the baby before or after birth.
- Thyroid disease: Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may result in complication to the foetus.
- Blood disorders like sickle cell anaemia – Another serious threat that increases risk factors.
Regular visit to your gynaecologist can ensure timely detection and best pregnancy experience.