Pregnancy is a stage in the life of women in which they often present ambiguous feelings. Despite happiness and excitement to know that soon it will be a mother, pregnancy can also make the woman feel miserable. Nausea, fatigue, excessive sleep, heartburn in the stomach, stomach pain, swollen legs, emotional instability, urge to urinate all the time and the appearance of stretch marks are just some of the annoying signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
Although these unwelcome symptoms are expected in some way and even considered normal in a healthy pregnancy, it is necessary that pregnant women have sufficient attention and do not immediately label any inconvenient symptom as one of the many discomforts of pregnancy.
Nausea is normal, but excessive nausea, which prevents the pregnant woman from eating and hydrating, cannot be ignored. Similarly, abdominal pain in pregnancy is very common, but severe abdominal pain, associated with uterine contractions and blood loss through the vagina, can be a sign of a threatened miscarriage.
If you are pregnant and do not know the warning signs, you are likely to end up neglecting important symptoms that may arise during pregnancy. Not looking for the doctor in time may end up damaging the health of your baby in your belly.
In this article we are going to talk about 10 signs and symptoms that may indicate some problem in pregnancy and which should never be ignored by pregnant women.
PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY # 1 – VAGINAL BLEEDING
Small blood loss through the vagina, with no other associated symptoms, can occur at any time during gestation, without necessarily indicating a problem. The majority of bleeding during pregnancy is small in volume and originates in small lesions of the female genital area, which generally do not cause any risk to the fetus.
There are, however, some of the characteristics of vaginal bleeding that speak too much in favor of complications. They are:
- Bulky or persistent bleeding.
- Presence of clots.
- Bleeding associated with relevant abdominal or pelvic pain.
- Bleeding associated with frequent and intense uterine contractions
- Bleeding associated with falling blood pressure.
- Vaginal bleeding in women who have already had a miscarriage.
It is essential to note that even vaginal bleeding without the above mentioned risk signs should be reported to your obstetrician. The fact that small bleeds are relatively common does not necessarily mean that they are benign. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Among the more serious problems that can occur with vaginal bleeding during the first half of pregnancy include:
- Abortion or threat of abortion.
- Ectopic Pregnancy
Among the more serious problems that can go with vaginal bleeding during the second half of pregnancy include:
- Threat of preterm birth.
- Previous placenta.
- Premature placental abruption
- Uterine rupture.
PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY # 2 – ABDOMINAL PAIN
As with vaginal bleeding, mild belly pains are common and innocent events during pregnancy. However, if any of the following symptoms are present, the woman should immediately contact the obstetrician:
- Severe and persistent abdominal pain.
- Abdominal pain associated with vomiting.
- Abdominal pain with bloody diarrhea.
- Abdominal pain with fever.
- Abdominal pain with vaginal bleeding.
- Abdominal pain caused by uterine contractions.
- Abdominal pain with fluid loss through the vagina.
- Abdominal pain associated with painful urination
Among the health problems that can cause pertinent abdominal pain during pregnancy include:
- Ectopic pregnancy.
- Spontaneous abortion.
- Pain of the round ligament.
- Premature abruption of the placenta.
- Urinary tract infection in pregnancy.
- Intra-abdominal diseases not related to pregnancy, such as appendicitis, cholecystitis, pancreatitis, infectious gastroenteritis or renal calculus.
If you want to know about the various causes of abdominal pain in pregnancy, access the following article:
PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY # 3 – NAUSEA AND VOMITING
Having nausea in the first weeks of pregnancy is one of the most typical and well-known symptoms of pregnancy. However, there is a limit to what we consider a “normal” nausea of the pregnant woman.
In most pregnant women, nausea is intermittent. It is common to have an alternation between hunger and nausea throughout the day. Although uncomfortable, pregnancy nausea rarely causes problems for the fetus. Most pregnant women get fed during periods of relief from nausea, maintaining a proper intake of nutrients.
However, unlike other types of nausea and vomiting that we feel throughout life, in nausea, a typical illness of pregnancy, there are no other gastrointestinal symptoms associated, such as fever, diarrhea and intense cramps. The presence of these symptoms points to a more serious problem than just a simple disease of pregnancy.
Another sign of severity is intense and uncontrollable vomiting, making the pregnant woman unable to feed or hydrate properly. If you are pregnant, have frequent vomiting and have lost at least two kilos because of these problems, you are looking for a doctor, because we may be facing the diagnosis of hyper emesis gravid arum.
Hyper emesis gravid arum occurs in up to 2% of pregnancies and is characterized by vomiting, incorrigible, unresponsive to treatment, associated with dehydration, hydro electrolytic changes and weight loss. As the pregnant woman cannot feed or drink fluids, she eventually needs to be hospitalized for intravenous fluids.
If you want to know more about pregnancy nausea, read: Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy
PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY # 4 – UTERINE CONTRACTIONS BEFORE THE HOUR
During pregnancy there are two types of uterine contraction: painless and innocent and painful and can lead to expulsion of the fetus.
Painless contractions, called Braxton Hicks contractions, usually arise in the second trimester of pregnancy and serve as “training” for the uterus at delivery. Braxton Hicks contractions cause more discomfort than pain and are short-lived, with irregular, low-frequency intervals.
On the other hand, painful uterine contractions are those that are associated with the onset of labor. If the woman is already over 38 weeks pregnant, it is natural for them to occur. The problem is when these painful contractions begin to appear before the 37th week of pregnancy, leading to the risk of preterm delivery.
If you are less than 37 weeks pregnant and have uterine contractions with the following characteristics, please contact your obstetrician:
- Painful uterine contractions.
- Frequent and rhythmic uterine contractions, intensifying with the passage of hours.
- Mild vaginal bleeding.
- Breakage of the water bag.
- Sensation of pressure in the pelvic region.
PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY # 5 – VAGINAL DISCHARGE
The natural hormonal changes of pregnancy can cause the pregnant woman to have an innocent vaginal discharge. In general, this benign flow is small in volume, colorless and clear.
However, some pregnancy complications or gynecological infections may manifest with vaginal discharge. Look for your obstetrician if the flow is accompanied by any of the following characteristics:
- Strong smell.
- Clearly purulent flow.
- Flow or excessive.
- Flow with blood.
- Pelvic pain.
- Intense vaginal itching.
- Sensation of burning or pain in the vagina.
- Pain when urinating.
PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY # 6 – PAIN WHEN URINATING
Pain in urination, called dysuria, is one of the most classic symptoms of urinary infection, mainly of cystitis, which is a bladder infection.
Cystitis occurs in about 1 to 2% of pregnant women. As the risk of increased bacteria towards the kidneys is greater in pregnant women, cystitis in the pregnant woman is considered a more severe picture than cystitis in no pregnant women.
Urinary infection in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of renal infection (pyelonephritis) of the mother and premature birth, low fetal weight and increased prenatal mortality.
In addition to pain when urinating, other signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection you should know are:
- Any type of discomfort in the genital area that occurs when urinating (pain, burning, burning, heaviness, stitches, etc.).
- You feel like urinating often.
- Difficulty in holding urine.
- You want to urinate even with an empty bladder.
- Blood in the urine.
We specifically talked about urinary infection in pregnancy in the following article: URINARY INFECTION IN PREGNANCY – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment .
PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY # 7 – ASYMMETRIC SWELLING IN THE LEGS
Everyone knows that pregnant women retain fluid and virtually all pregnant women have some degree of leg edema in the third trimester of pregnancy.
However, there are situations in which the appearance of edema in the lower limbs should ignite the warning signal. The main one is when one leg starts to become disproportionately swollier than the other.
Pregnancy increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and asymmetric edema may be the first sign of a large vein in the leg obstructed by a thrombus (clot). Thrombosis of the lower limbs is a dangerous picture because it is the main risk factor for pulmonary embolism
In addition to asymmetric swelling, other signs of DVT of the lower limb are local redness, pain, increased temperature of the affected leg and a “hardened” swelling around the thromboses area.
PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY # 8 – REDUCTION OF BABY’S MOVEMENTS
Most babies begin to move in the uterus from the 7th or 8th week of pregnancy. However, at this stage, they are still very small and their movements are imperceptible to the mother.
The movements of the baby begin to notice from the 16th week, but are still low. Women who have experienced other pregnancies are more likely to recognize their “kicking” fetuses, while mothers for the first time often can only identify the baby’s movements after the 20th week.
From the third trimester, however, fetal movements become readily identifiable, often visible through the mother’s abdomen. At this stage, pregnant women can easily tell when the baby is awake or sleeping.
An abrupt decrease in fetal movements may be a sign of pregnancy complication. For this reason, some obstetricians recommend that you spend some time in the day counting your baby’s kicks. You can choose a time of day when your baby is generally active. Count how many “kicks” the baby gives in each hour so you have an idea of how active he usually is.
If you begin to feel your baby calmer than usual and the number of kicks in the next 2 or 3 hours is much lower than expected, contact your obstetrician. But before despairing, remember that the baby can sleep. Ideally, you know what time of day he is usually hectic.
PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY # 9 – FEVER
Fever is an obvious sign that something is wrong, whether the woman is pregnant or not. However, it is important to reaffirm the need to contact your obstetrician if pregnant women begin to show temperatures above 37.5 ° C for more than 24 hours. If the pregnant woman has a fever above 38.5 ° C, contact with the obstetrician should be immediate.
Infections during pregnancy increase the risk of complications for the mother and fetus. Some of them are associated, including an increased risk of preterm delivery.
PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY # 10 – SIGNS OF PREECLAMPSIA
Preeclampsia is a serious complication that can occur during the second half of pregnancy, usually after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Preeclampsia occurs in 5% to 10% of pregnancies. 75% of the cases are mild and 25% are severe. The signs and symptoms of preeclampsia are:
- Hypertension that occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy.
- Loss of protein in the urine is usually noticed due to an increase in the foaming of the urine.
- Swelling in the body, especially in the arms, legs and face.
- Abdominal pain.
- Blurry vision.
- Changes in liver function tests
- When the pregnant woman with preeclampsia happens to present pictures of seizures, we call the eclampsia picture.
In relation to the fetus, the risks of preeclampsia include premature placental abruption, low intrauterine growth and development, and preterm delivery.