Maternal high-risk pregnancy
Various maternal factors may make a pregnancy high-risk such as advanced maternal age (over 40 years), maternal diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, clotting abnormalities, previous uterine surgery such as previous caesarean delivery or myomectomy (surgery for fibroids), and many more. Your Alana Obstetrician will take a full medical history at your booking visit and will make a plan for your antenatal care with these risks in mind.
Fetal high-risk pregnancy
Your baby can also contribute to making the pregnancy high risk. Examples include intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) where the baby is smaller than expected for the dates, fetal anomalies which may be detected on ultrasound throughout the pregnancy, twin or triplet pregnancies, or problems with the location of the placenta (placenta praevia).
Frequently Asked Questions
Ultrasound can take high quality images of many parts of your body, which makes it an excellent diagnostic tool. During pregnancy, an ultrasound is recommended for a number of reasons:
- For confirming the age of the baby and to predict the due date;
- To look at the baby as it develops throughout the various stages of pregnancy;
- To screen for chromosomal and other abnormalities (such as Down syndrome).
- Breakthrough bleeding: which happens as the pregnancy hormones interfere with the hormones of your normal menstrual cycle. This causes some the endometrial lining to be shed. Spotting or light bleeding may come and go for several days.
- Implantation bleeding: which happens when the fertilised egg implants in the endometrial lining of the uterus. The endometrial lining has been prepared for the nestling of the fertilised egg during the menstrual cycle and has now got a very good blood supply. The implantation may therefore be associated with some light bleeding.
- Other causes: which may include changes to your cervix by the pregnancy hormones; it softens the cervix and causes an area of cells covering the cervix to move towards the outside of the cervix. These cells are more prone to bleeding, especially when touched during intercourse. It is important to be up to date with your Pap smear screening tests as bleeding may also be caused by abnormal cells. Bleeding can also be linked to vaginal or cervical infection which would require further investigation with a vaginal swab and may need treatment. A harmless growth on the cervix called a polyp may also cause bleeding at any stage in the pregnancy. A speculum examination (as is done with the Pap smear) will reveal this polyp, and usually nothing needs to be done about it during your pregnancy.