Finding out that you’re pregnant is a wonderfully emotional and exciting time, especially for a woman who’s expecting her first child. If you’re experiencing a first pregnancy, you might have a lot of questions about what’s normal, what isn’t, and what circumstances might arise that necessitate calling your doctor.
While most women enjoy healthy pregnancies, making sure to take care of yourself and paying attention to any changes in your health will go a long way to ensuring the health and safety of you and your baby. Most the changes that occur during pregnancy happen quickly and are perfectly normal. However, some do require swift attention. Here are several symptoms, what they could mean, and would you need to do about them.
Occasional spotting is normal during pregnancy, but heavy bleeding could indicate a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Generally, the brighter the color of the bleeding, the more significant a risk it poses. If you experience bad cramping and bleeding similar to during a period, it could be an indication of a potential miscarriage. If bleeding accompanies stabbing lower abdominal pain, it may indicated a ectopic pregnancy, a serious condition that occurs when the fertilized egg implants on the fallopian tubes or somewhere else outside of the uterus.
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may elect to do some blood work or give you an ultrasound.
Excessive Vomiting and Nausea
Considering how frequently morning sickness occurs during the first trimester of most pregnancy, the idea of excessive vomiting and nausea may be an objective one. However, if vomiting becomes so frequent that you become severely dehydrated, then it becomes something that needs to be addressed. Vomiting that begins to interfere with your daily activities can lead to dehydration, dizziness, and weight loss. Inform your doctor about the frequency of the vomiting, as you may need to be hospitalized to treat your dehydration.
If you experience a fever greater than 101 degrees it could indicate an infection, which can affect the health of the baby. Fever accompanied by joint pain or a rash could be a sign of cytomegalovirus, parvovirus, or toxoplasma. Report any fever or flu like symptoms immediately to your doctor.
Vagina Itching or Discharge
While some discharge is normal, it could also signal a treatable infection or STD that could have serious consequences on your pregnancy. Even if the subject makes you feel a little uncomfortable or embarrassed, you still need to let your ob-gyn know what symptoms you are experiencing so a determination can be made on whether it signifies a serious problem that could harm the health of your baby.
Trouble or painful urination could signal a urinary tract or bladder infection. If left untreated, this type of infection could result in a more serious illness or pre-mature labor. If you’re suffering from an infection, treatment can help to relieve your pain, and help assure a healthy pregnancy.
It’s not uncommon for women who are pregnant to suffer from gums that bleed easily, especially after brushing. This is due to what’s commonly referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis”, which is caused by the constantly fluctuating hormones in a woman’s body during pregnancy. While your oral health should return to normal after childbirth, you could still suffer serious long-term issues if not addressed. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, make sure to schedule regular dental checkups during pregnancy.
Leg Pain or Swelling
While not common, pregnancy does increase a woman’s change of developing a blood clot. A clot in the leg could cause swelling in the calf, which could be fatal if the clot dislodged and traveled to the lung. If you have a history of blood clots, make sure you doctor stays informed.
If you suffer from a preexisting condition, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, lupus, or thyroid disease, you need to note any change in your health during pregnancy. If your preexisting disease begins to flair up during pregnancy, it could have serious consequences on your health, and that of the baby’s. Any flare up of a preexisting disease needs to be addressed with your doctor.