Serious complications may occur in pregnancy. Some complications may be life threatening to mother and baby. Complications are sometimes unpredictable .
Toxaemias of Pregnancy
Among the complications of pregnancy are the Toxaemia of Pregnancy. The Toxaemias of pregnancy are serious conditions which occur in the later part of pregnancy, around the twentieth week of pregnancy. When one hears the word Toxaemia, the first thing that comes to mind may be “toxins in the blood”. This is not the case. Toxaemia applies only in pregnancy and the word is a misnomer (a name that does not fit or suit- Oxford English Dictionary).
Toxaemia is characterised by a rise in blood pressure, and an increase in tissue fluid. This is manifested by a sudden weight gain. There is swelling, especially of the face and fingers. There is also headache and the presence of protein in the urine.
It is usually the rise in blood pressure or the sudden head pains which alert one to the presence of Toxaemia in pregnancy. With good monitoring and professional care the condition can be kept under control. Toxaemia in pregnancy is known as preeclampsic toxaemia or preeclampsia. If the condition is not kept under control and the situation deteriorates it is then known as eclampsia.
Eclampsia is characterised by severe headache, severe vomiting, stomach pain, vision problems, coma and fits. This situation most times warrant a decisive action by the medical team for the life of the mother or the the baby.
Over the years maternal and child health has improved greatly. This is done through increased monitoring of pregnant women The incidence of deaths in pregnancy has decreased. If detected early, Toxaemia in pregnancy is taken care of by close monitoring. If case starts to become extreme, then the doctor and team will have to make prompt and reasonable decisions.
Toxaemic conditions of the pregnant woman resolves after the delivery of the baby.
With these conditions in mind it is important that women begin their antenatal care early. An early time is at the first miss of the monthly period. An antenatal visit to the doctor close to delivery is a “medical mistake” on the part of the pregnant woman.
The best care a pregnant woman can give herself and her baby , is an early and sustained antenatal care. Therefore, she must visit her doctor or the antenatal care health clinic and keep all appointments to these clinics. A doctor or a nurse has much confidence in taking care of a delivery when full knowledge of the pregnant woman’s condition is known from start to finish, regardless of the situation.
In order to improve the well-being of mother and baby, the best thing to do is to give the health providers every opportunity to see to your antenatal care from start to finish.
This occurs when the fetus is spontaneously expelled from the womb before it can survive outside of the womb. Miscarriage is what happens when birth of the fetus occurs before the fifth month of pregnancy. Miscarriage should not be confused with abortion.
In pregnancy bleeding from the vagina is the first sign to warn of a miscarriage.
What is the cause of miscarriage? The cause of miscarriage is best determined by the doctor for the particular cases. Therefore, this is to say that several things can be responsible for miscarriage. It also indicates that not all pregnant women will have the same reason for their miscarriages.
Have you ever heard that some women may just be frightened and labour begins right away, before the fifth month of pregnancy? I have heard and known of a case that heard of a tragic death of a loved one, and the pregnant woman went into labour and had a miscarriage on receipt of the news. Some women get a slight or hard jerk and there goes the pregnancy.
Of course there are cases of causes of medical conditions of the mother and or fetus. To give an example, the mother having syphilis, that is to say active syphilis can result in miscarriage. Frankly, miscarriage may be caused by different reasons.
Broadly, my opinion is that miscarriage is caused by:
- Stress and emotional factors
- Genetic defects
- Medical reasons ( of mother and or baby)
- Physical exertion to the body
- Nutritional needs
The doctor is the person who helps to determine the cause of a particular miscarriage or some cases of miscarriage. He also advises whether or not the woman will be able to carry other pregnancy to term or not. The cause of the miscarriage may be of such that can be corrected. That is if the cause is known say strictly medical reasons with possible solutions. This means the woman will be able to carry other babies to full term.
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg begins to develop in the Fallopian tube rather than making its way to the uterus (womb). The womb is the designed structure for the development of the egg.
Ectopic pregnancy is most times referred to as “tubal pregnancy”. Often times persons may talk about ” pregnancy in the tube”. One would realize that as the egg grows in the tube it causes damage to the tube. This is a serious complication in pregnancy.
What are the signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy?
Medicine net states that there are three classic signs/symptoms of ectopic pregnancy. These are abdominal pain, the absence of menstruation and vaginal bleeding.. Approximately half of the women with ectopic pregnancy may not have all three signs.
In some cases women were not aware that they were pregnant until the signs/symptoms of ectopic pregnancy came up and they had to seek emergency service.
Medicine.net further states that the signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy typically occursix to eight weeks after the last normal period. There may also be dizziness, weakness,breast tenderness, nausea and low blood pressure.
What should one do if ectopic pregnancy is suspected
- Treat situation as a case of urgency
- Consult at the Emergency Room,immediately.
- Do not stay at home and watch anything. Some persons have the tendency to want to wait and watch what the outcome would be. See the doctor immediately.
Risk Factors of Ectopic Pregnancy
Who is at risk for having ectopic pregnancy?
Any woman who is sexually active and has not been using contraceptives. In other words, any sexually active and fertile woman with the capability and likelihood of being pregnant.
Pregnant women who have had previous surgery to reproductive organs
There are also pregnant women who have had history of sexually transmitted infections such as gonoccocal and or chlamydial infections. Women who might have been infected with a sexually transmitted infection and never knew of its presence.
Women who have not had treatment, not treated early, and may not have been adequately treated for a sexually transmitted infection.
Women with history of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or experiencing same.
These diseases left untreated or inadequately treated can cause damage or scarring to the fallopian tubes thus making the smooth passage of a fertilized egg through the tube to the womb, difficult or impossible. Thus resulting in the development of the egg in the tube.
Briefly put, Rh factor complication arises when a Rh negative pregnant woman develops Rh positive antibodies from her Rh positive fetus that passes its Rh positive blood cells to its mother through the placenta. The fetus being Rh positive indicates that its father is Rh positive.
At the first pregnancy the outcome may be successful. However, with subsequent pregnancy the risk becomes higher. In subsequent pregnancies antibodies from the mother pass through the placenta and enter the fetus’ blood. These antibodies begin to destroy the blood cells of the fetus and trigger a serious type of anemia. This can cause the death of the fetus immediately after birth.
In order to make corrective measures to this situation and to prevent death to the newborn, knowledge of the maternal and child health history of the pregnant woman is important. Early antenatal care is an asset. These make it convenient to make preparation for the baby’s delivery. That is subsequent baby or babies.
Before the birth of the baby , preparation is made for the baby’s “mixed” blood to be transfused. The baby’s blood with the hostile antibodies is replaced with friendly blood.
Have you ever considered how important it is to know your spouse’s blood type and the whole necessary chemical make up and other medical situations of you and your partner before sex or unprotected sex and marriage?
Think about it when it comes to child bearing and rearing blood-health wise, so many things can come against the mother and baby’s well-being. Looking at cause and effect and how to prevent, one may considers diseases such as Sickle Cell Anemia, HIV, Syphilis, Congenital Syphilis and the Rh factor. These are examples that should awaken the concerns of couples who are interested in having children. The fact is some persons are not aware.
Then again, what if the persons love each other and the consideration is unconditional? I may not have answers to every question, but I would like to hear from you. Please let me have your comments.
Signs and Symptoms of Complications in Pregnancy
Again, if you experience any of these signs or symptoms, report to your doctor or antenatal care nurse immediately.
- Vision problem
- Nausea and vomiting if this is happening after the third month of pregnancy
- Bleeding from the vagina
- Swelling of hands and feet
- Infections and other illnesses
- Pain or cramps in abdomen
Please let me have your comments.