Most pregnancies tend to go smoothly for the mother or baby. But sometimes the probability of this happening is lower. The causes of high-risk pregnancy are very varied and we are going to review them below.
Causes of high-risk pregnancy
Non-gynecological or social medical circumstances of the woman before pregnancy
Among the social causes as a risk factor we find women who live far from health centers and who tend to neglect medical advice, adolescents with little family support, women with addiction drugs or alcoholism…
Among the medical circumstances that may increase the risk of complications during pregnancy, we find above all maternal age under 18 years or over 40, women with medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disease, hepatitis, abnormalities of coagulation, obesity, extreme thinness, autoimmune diseases … and also women with psychiatric pathology.
Maternal gynecological pathology present before pregnancy
In this section we could find women with a history of infertility who have required assisted reproduction treatments, women with a history of repeat abortions, both in the first and late trimesters. Women who have previously had pregnancies classified as high risk, with fetal pathology such as malformations in previous pregnancies, genetic or chromosomal pathologies in previous pregnancies would also be in this classification, or those who have had maternal pathology such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, syndrome of HELLP …
We should also include here women with malformations of the female genital tract, such as uterine malformations, those with large fibroids or well placed in areas that may affect the proper development of the baby …
Pathology that appears during pregnancy
The risk pregnancy classification is somewhat dynamic and, therefore, can vary throughout the pregnancy . It is common for a pregnancy to begin as a low risk but that some circumstance causes it to change its classification, becoming a high risk pregnancy.
At the beginning of pregnancy, the detection of a multiple pregnancy will make the pregnancy considered risky, depending on the number of embryos, the number of placentas and amniotic sacs.
If gestational diabetes appearsor a pregnancy hypertension will be considered at risk. Also if there is an infection, both viral and bacterial, that may be dangerous for the mother, or harmless for the mother but that may be harmful to the baby, the pregnancy will be classified as high risk.
In the event of purely pregnancy pathology such as premature contractions or premature rupture of the amniotic bag, the pregnancy will be considered risky.
Finally, fetal pathology can also cause a pregnancy to be considered high risk , even if it is not harmful to the mother. Fetal malformations can produce curable or permanent fetal pathology, and sometimes become lethal. Fetuses with growth pathologies, both by default and by excess, will also be considered at risk.
On the other hand, infections, such as toxoplasmosis , that are not harmful to women can cause malformations or alterations in the functionality of any organ of the fetus, both because it is already present at birth and because it develops after a few months or a few years.
Finally, teratogens are harmful substances for the baby. This is the case of some medications, X-rays … which will also require a specific study.
- Some circumstances can turn a pregnancy into a risky pregnancy that must be well controlled.
- This is the case of non-gynecological or social medical situations in women prior to pregnancy, as well as gynecological pathologies prior to pregnancy and those that appear during pregnancy, or fetal pathology.
- All high-risk pregnancies must be controlled in units prepared for it and with sufficient experience.