Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman's life. However, sometimes a woman has to go through many complications due to unexpected illnesses or some other medical conditions. When a complication is very serious it is termed as high risk pregnancy. "High risk pregnancy" can be anything from placental abruption to multiple pregnancies to placenta previa.
With the development and advancement of technology in the medical field, pregnant women can be carefully monitored for signs and symptoms of high risk pregnancy. Pregnancy and Swine flu is considered as another ‘high risk’ combinations.
Signs and symptoms of high risk pregnancy
A pregnant woman feeling contractions more than four times an hour or less than 15 minutes apart, either painful or painless, should immediately inform her doctor and be prepared to answer the following questions.
- When did the discomfort start?
- What is the type and frequency of contractions?
- What were you doing when symptoms began?
- Do you have any other signs and symptoms such as
- Menstrual cramps that come and go
- Abdominal cramp with or without diarrhea
- Dull backache which is more towards abdominal part
- Constant pelvic pressure
- Increased vaginal discharge
Until your doctor come to your rescue, you can do the following thing:
- Lie down with your feet elevated
- Have two/three glasses of water or juice
These two activities sometimes can give you relief from contractions. If there is no sign of relief within one hour and the woman is not able to get in touch with her doctor she should go to the nearest hospital for further check up.
Home monitoring for high risk pregnancy
A woman who has a history of miscarriage or is showing signs of pre-term labor may avail the home monitoring facility under guidance of her doctor or health-care provider, especially when she is on bed rest for a significant amount of time (often 20 weeks or more).
Pregnant women can wear an elastic belt having transducer around their waist. The transducer is a pressure-sensitive electronic recorder that looks like a 'compact' or a small 'beeper'. It detects uterine contractions and a computer program transfers the data, reporting the uterine activity over the telephone lines to your health care provider's office.
Drug treatment for high risk pregnancy
Pregnant women who are at a high risk of premature labor are often placed on medications to stop contractions and allow the fetus to have more time in the uterus. Such medications are called tocolytic agents.
Yutopar (ritodrine hydrochloride) is the only tocolytic medication approved by FDA. Yutopar should not be prescribed to women who have cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, intrauterine infection, vaginal bleeding or uncontrolled diabetes. It should not be used if the woman is in active labor or has a history of repeated miscarriages.
Side effects of using tycolytic agents are heart palpitations, excessive heart beat, tremors, anxiety, headaches, vomiting and fever. Infants whose mothers were given tocolytic agents suffer from low blood sugar, bowel problems and a low level of calcium in their blood.
When a woman in pre-term labor has diabetes or heart disease, she may be placed on magnesium sulfate to reduce uterine activity. Magnesium sulfate is not approved for use in pre-term labor. The side effects of magnesium sulfate are respiratory problems and cardiac problems.