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Updated 25 August 2016

Five danger signs in pregnancy you should not miss

To ensure a safe pregnancy, be on the lookout for these five danger signs you should not miss.

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Pregnancy is a wonderful and happy time in any woman's life. To ensure your pregnancy is without any problems, be on the lookout for any of the following danger signs:

Vaginal Bleeding

Early in pregnancy, spotting can indicate an implantation bleed, but any bleeding in pregnancy should be investigated.   First trimester bleeds may indicate an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. Later in your pregnancy bleeding can be due to miscarriage, placenta previa or abruption of the placenta. Infections may also cause bleeding. If you notice any bleeding then you should be examined by your doctor.

Headaches and or blurred vision

This can indicate pre-eclampsia.  Diagnosed usually after 20 weeks gestation, your doctor will be on the lookout for high blood pressure and protein in your urine (indicating kidney involvement).  If left untreated, pre-eclampsia can lead to a serious pregnancy complication called eclampsia which presents with very elevated blood pressure and seizures. This is very dangerous for mother and baby.

Little of no foetal movement

It is a well known fact that babies do sleep while in uterus, but when your unborn baby suddenly move less or does not move at all, it should be reason for concern. It may indicate that your baby is in distress.  According to the American Congress of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians (ACOG) you should count how long it takes for your baby to do 10 kicks. This should be less than 2 hours. If you notice a dramatic decrease in the number of kicks, or it takes longer than two hours to perform 10 kicks, you should have your doctor examine you and your baby.

Sudden release of water from the vagina

Rupture of membranes before your due date is referred to as “premature rupture of membranes” and you should be examined by your doctor as this can indicate preterm labour and significantly increase the risk of getting an infection.  Occasionally urine leaking from your bladder can be confused with amnion fluid leaking out. Your doctor will do a test to determine the origin of the fluid.

Persistent lower back pain

Most women will relate to having lower back pain some stage during their pregnancy. When it becomes persistent, best to have your doctor examine you to exclude kidney or bladder infections. Preterm labour may also present with a persistent lower back pain.

Read more:

Pregnancy complications under spotlight 
Excess pregnancy weight ups complications 

Image: Pregnant woman from Shutterstock

Dr. Owen J. Wiese is Health24's resident doctor. After graduating from Stellenbosch University with additional qualifications in biochemistry and physiology he developed a keen interest in providing medical information through the media.

 
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