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Overview of Disease During Pregnancy

By

Lara A. Friel

, MD, PhD, University of Texas Health Medical School at Houston, McGovern Medical School

Reviewed/Revised Nov 2023
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During pregnancy, having a medical condition can increase the risk of pregnancy complications for the pregnant woman or the fetus. The disorder may be one that

  • A woman had before she became pregnant (preexisting disorders)

  • Develops during the pregnancy but is not directly related to the pregnancy

Diabetes Diabetes During Pregnancy For women who have diabetes before they become pregnant, the risks of complications during pregnancy depend on how long diabetes has been present and whether complications of diabetes, such... read more and high blood pressure High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy High blood pressure (hypertension) during pregnancy is classified as one of the following: Chronic hypertension: Blood pressure was high before the pregnancy. Gestational hypertension: Blood... read more are examples of preexisting disorders that increase the risk of health problems during pregnancy. If women have such a disorder and wish to become pregnant, they should first talk with a doctor and take any steps necessary to manage the disorder as well as possible before they become pregnant. Once women with medical conditions become pregnant, they may need special care, often from a team of medical specialists. The team may include an obstetrician (who may also be a specialist in care of the disorder during pregnancy), a specialist in the disorder, and other health care professionals (such as nutritionists).

Sometimes disorders that are not directly related to pregnancy develop during pregnancy. Some of them increase the risk of problems for the pregnant woman or the fetus. They include disorders that

Some disorders are more likely to occur during pregnancy because of the many changes pregnancy causes in a woman’s body. Examples are

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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