Is Pregnancy Disorder Preventable?Pregnancy disorder is a variety of conditions that are interrelated to pregnancy or are complications of pregnancy.Due to the many changes occurring in a woman’s body during pregnancy, she may encounter minor problems or discomforts along the way. But not every pregnant woman gets these problems, and different women may get them to a greater or lesser extent.
Serious disorders of pregnancy are rare. But since they are life-threatening to mother and/or baby, it is important to know the symptoms of these disorders so that treatment may be sought at once.
Ectopic/ tubal pregnancy
This occurs if a fertilized egg implants in the wall of a fallopian tube instead of the womb. Two things can happen: (1) the tube rejects the fertilized egg and it is aborted, or (2) the tube ruptures when the fertilized egg grows to a certain size. A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency. Though the pregnancy is lost, the mother can be saved by prompt surgery, which often requires removal of the affected fallopian tube. This does not prevent a woman from getting pregnant again as she has another tube.
• Severe abdominal pain on one side.
The placenta is the organ, rich in blood vessels, by which the baby via the umbilical cord is joined to the mother and obtains its nourishment. In placenta praevia, the placenta is attached low down near the cervix (neck of the womb), instead of high up the womb as normal. As the womb expands rapidly in the three months of pregnancy, the accompanying stretching of the cervix may tear the misplaced placenta. The severe bleeding that results can be fatal to both mother and baby.
• Severe vaginal bleeding.
• Shock (cold sweat, clammy skin, rapid breathing, rapid pulse rate, drowsiness, loss of consciousness).
• Premature labor (abdominal pains, womb contractions).
Premature separation of the placenta
This is more likely to occur in placenta praevia, but can happen no matter where the placenta is attached. As the womb expands rapidly in the last three months of pregnancy, the accompanying expansion of the placenta may cause one of its blood vessels to tear and bleed. A blood clot that forms at the base of the placenta may loosen the placenta from the womb. This premature separation of the placenta can cause death of the baby. The placenta normally separates from the womb only after the baby is born, which is why it is also called the ‘after birth’
•Spotting (light vaginal bleeding), in some cases.
•Reduction in baby’s movements.
• Premature labor (abdominal pains, womb contractions)
Toxaemia & eclampsia
Toxaemia of pregnancy or PET (pre-eclamptic toxaemia) is a less serious form of eclampsia, which can cause death of both mother and baby. The cause is unknown. Diagnosis is made if all three signs of high blood pressure, water retention, and protein in the urine are present. Toxaemia is more common in first pregnancies, and in women aged below 25 or above 35. It is more likely to occur in those who have existing diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease prior to pregnancy. Prompt management of toxaemia can prevent eclampsia from developing. If the woman is near term or eclampsia is imminent, emergency induction of labour and delivery may be necessary.
•Puffiness of face/hands, persistent/severe swelling of feet/ankles.
•Visual disturbances (blurring, dimness, seeing spots).
•Rapid weight gain (due to water retention).
•Fits (in eclampsia).