Pregnancy is an extraordinary journey with lots of joy, anticipation, and profound changes to a woman’s body. While some of these changes are a part of pregnancy, many women have to deal with gynaecological conditions that affect their health.
These conditions, ranging from common to rare, may require special attention and management throughout pregnancy to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby.
In this blog post, we will explore seven gynaecological conditions that can affect pregnancy. By understanding the potential challenges posed by these conditions, expectant mothers and their healthcare providers can make informed decisions and develop appropriate strategies to ensure a safe and successful pregnancy.
7 Gynaecological Conditions That Can Affect Your Health During Pregnancy!
Condition 1: Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is one of the conditions women face during pregnancy, and it is often hard to determine as there are no symptoms. Gestational diabetes occurs when the body lacks sufficient insulin to regulate blood sugar. The risk factors for Gestational diabetes include being overweight, having prediabetes or family history of type 2 diabetes, and being older than 25. If untreated, gestational diabetes can result in high blood pressure, larger baby size, neonatal hypoglycemia, shoulder dystocia, preterm birth, stillbirth, and increased type 2 diabetes risk for the mother.
Additionally, the babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of facing obesity or diabetes later in life. Therefore, pregnant women shouldn’t skip the regular visits to their gynaecologist. When you visit your healthcare provider periodically, they may be able to identify the condition early on, providing treatment and medications, ensuring both the mother and child aren’t at risk.
Condition 2: Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a high-risk pregnancy related condition that typically occurs after the 20th week or after childbirth. It is characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, affecting organ function. Untreated preeclampsia can be life-threatening for both the mother and the baby, potentially leading to preterm delivery.
The symptoms include vision changes, persistent headache, nausea, upper abdominal pain, sudden weight gain, and swelling in the hands and legs. So, if you are pregnant and experience any of these symptoms, immediately seek the counsel of your private gynaecologist. They will further guide you on what’s necessary to manage preeclampsia and ensure that you deliver the baby safely.
Condition 3: Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Hyperemesis gravidarum is another condition that affects pregnancy. It is characterised by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. It is caused by a rapid rise in the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) released by the placenta. While mild morning sickness is common, hyperemesis gravidarum is less common and more severe. Women with hyperemesis gravidarum feel extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
It can cause a weight loss of more than 5% of body weight. It can occur in any pregnancy but is more likely with twins or a hydatidiform mole. Your healthcare provider will recommend treatments that usually involve dietary changes, rest, antacids, medications, and in severe cases, hospitalisation for intravenous fluids or electrolyte replacement.
Keep in mind, the treatment may vary from person to person. Once you have discussed your symptoms with your healthcare provider, the doctor will determine if you have Hyperemesis Gravidarum and then create a treatment plan for you accordingly. This will ensure that you carry your baby to full term and give birth to a healthy baby.
Condition 4: Placenta Previa
Placenta previa is another gynaecological condition that many pregnant women face during the course of their pregnancy. Normally, the placenta is attached to the uterine wall, away from the cervix, ensuring the baby passes through the birth canal during the delivery. However, in placenta previa, the placenta partially or completely covers the opening of the cervix. In a third scenario, it may also be located at the edge of the cervix, but not covering it. Placenta previa obstructs the birth canal and can cause vagina beeding during pregnancy, especially during the later stages. It is therefore essential that women with placenta previa receive regular prenatal care.
It is important to understand the risk factors of placenta previa. The risk factors include smoking, cocaine use, maternal age of 35 or older, multiple pregnancies, previous uterine surgeries or procedures such as C-section or D&C.
Condition 5: Miscarriage
A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy, it is most likely to occur in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Most miscarriages occur due to abnormal foetal development, often with chromosomal abnormalities. Signs of miscarriage include vaginal bleeding, abdominal or back pain, and the passing of fluid or tissue.
Support from healthcare providers, counsellors, or therapists can aid women in navigating the emotional aftermath of a miscarriage. Open communication and understanding within relationships and support systems also play vital roles in assisting women during this challenging time.
Condition 6: Ectopic Pregnancy
When a fertilised egg implants and grows outside the uterus, commonly in the fallopian tube this condition is called ectopic pregnancy. It can also occur in other locations such as the ovary, abdomen, or cervix. Symptoms may initially go unnoticed, but some women experience typical early signs of pregnancy like missed periods, breast tenderness, and nausea. This is why it’s necessary to get an early pregnancy scan.
The first warning sign of an ectopic pregnancy often includes light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain. If the fallopian tube leaks blood, shoulder pain or an urge to have a bowel movement may occur. If you experience one of the following symptoms, blood leaking from fallopian tubes, shoulder pain, or a sudden bowel movement, you might need immediate medical attention is crucial to prevent complications like tube rupture and ensure a healthy recovery.
Condition 7: Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), also known as bladder infection, is a bacterial infection in the urinary tract. Pregnant women have an increased risk of UTIs due to changes in the urinary tract caused by the growing uterus. Symptoms of a UTI may include pain or burning during urination, frequent urination, urgency to urinate, blood or mucus in urine, lower abdominal pain or cramps, pain during sexual intercourse, and fever or chills.
If left untreated, UTIs can lead to kidney infections, which may result in early labour and low birth weight. In addition to UTIs, another gynaecological condition that can affect pregnancy is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID is an infection of the female reproductive organs, often caused by sexually transmitted infections. Proper prenatal care and timely treatment with antibiotics can effectively manage such situations.
Pregnancy can be impacted by several gynaecological conditions, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, hyperemesis gravidarum, placenta previa, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and urinary tract infections. These conditions can pose risks to both you and your baby if they are left untreated. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritise prenatal care and attend regular check-ups.
By doing so, you can effectively monitor and manage these conditions, ensuring the well-being of both you and your baby. If you have any concerns during your pregnancy or looking for private gynaecological services, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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