Some women have health problems or concerns before they get pregnant. For other women, problems may come up during pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife will work with you to prevent or manage these problems to help you have a healthy pregnancy.
If you have a health problem or concern, you may have a high-risk pregnancy. This means that your doctor or midwife needs to follow you closely. It doesn't mean that something will go wrong during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy when you have health problems
Common infections during pregnancy
- Vaginal yeast infections are more common in pregnancy
because of the increased levels of hormones. Call your doctor or midwife if
symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection or bacterial
vaginal infection (bacterial vaginosis).
- Urinary tract infection is common during pregnancy and
must be treated with antibiotics to prevent a dangerous infection or preterm
- Bacterial vaginosis (BV) that causes symptoms is
usually treated with oral antibiotics.
- Some women carry group B strep bacteria in their vaginal area. A woman can pass this infection to her baby during vaginal birth. This infection doesn't cause symptoms, but you will be screened for it in your third trimester.
Health problems that can happen during pregnancy
Other concerns during pregnancy
- Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of problems such as low birth weight, preterm labor, and miscarriage.
- Pregnancy over age 35 poses some risks, but most older
women have healthy pregnancies.
- Medicine use (including herbal remedies) during pregnancy should always be approved by your doctor or midwife, to
prevent harm to the fetus.
- Flu vaccine is safe and recommended for all pregnant women. The vaccine also can help prevent H1N1 flu.
- Some immunizations should be done only before pregnancy. You can get other vaccines during pregnancy.
- Pregnancy after bariatric surgery may mean that you keep seeing the doctor who did your weight-loss surgery, along with seeing the doctor or midwife who is caring for you during pregnancy.
- Domestic violence can happen more often and/or get worse when women are pregnant. It is dangerous for both the mother and the baby. For more information and to learn how to get help, see the topic Domestic Violence.
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
July 23, 2012
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