Common health problems in pregnancy

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Common health problems in pregnancy

If you have any of the symptoms in this article, contact your health care provider right away
to lower your risk of complications. There are various specific tests done during the first
trimester of pregnancy, and a few screenings later in pregnancy to help prevent these
problems, or spot them early. Your health care provider will give you a schedule for visits,
tests, and screenings. It is important to follow your health care provider's advice about
treatment so you have a safe delivery and a strong, healthy baby.


Symptoms: Slight, irregular vaginal bleeding that often is brownish; pain in the lower
abdomen, often on one side, and can be followed by severe pelvic pain; shoulder pain;
faintness or dizziness; nausea or vomiting.

Potential Problem: Ectopic pregnancy (the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus,
usually in the fallopian tube).

Diagnosis: Blood tests; vaginal or abdominal ultrasound exam. An ultrasound is a screening
tool that uses high-frequency sound waves to form pictures of the fetus on a computer
screen; laparoscopy (surgery to view the abdominal organs directly with a viewing

Treatment: Because the embryo of an ectopic pregnancy cannot survive, it is removed
surgically; or the woman is treated with a cancer drug, methotrexate, which dissolves the


Symptoms: Extreme thirst, hunger, or fatigue (but usually no symptoms). Also, a blood sugar
value of 140 mg/DL or greater on a diabetes test.

Potential Problem: Gestational diabetes (a form of diabetes that usually occurs in the second
half of pregnancy).

Diagnosis: Blood test one hour after drinking a glucose (form of sugar) drink. Most women
can control their blood sugar levels with diet and exercise.

Treatment: Some women with gestational diabetes or women who had diabetes before
pregnancy need shots of insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control.

preguntas del embarazo