Every pregnancy has some level of risks, but for low percentage of pregnancies may carry higher risk to health of the patient, the fetus, or both.

A pregnancy is considered as a high-risk when there were potential complications which could affect the mother, baby, or both of them. High-risk pregnancies may require management by a experienced and specialist doctor to help and ensure the best outcome for both mother & baby.


Symptoms of high risk pregnancy were usually difficult to distinguish from other symptoms of typical pregnancy. Even though, the symptoms may last longer & be far more severe when compared to normal pregnancy. The patient needs to report if any painful or worrisome symptoms observed she needs to consult her doctor right away. During a high risk pregnancy woman may experience:

  • Severe pain or cramping in lower abdomen
  • Noticeable changes in the vision, which includes blurred vision
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Persistent headaches
  • Painful burning sensations while passing urine
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Clear, watery vaginal discharge, similar to yeast infection
  • Frequent contractions


Patient’s personal habits, as well as variety of the existing health issues & developments, may contribute to the pregnancy which is being to be considered as a high risk. Some common risk factors which may increase chances of having a high risk pregnancy which include:

  • Smoking cigarettes, using drugs or drinking alcohol
  • Significantly underweight or overweight during the pregnancy time
  • Age, particularly if the mother is younger than 20 or she may be older than 35
  • Problems with uterus, like an abnormal shape
  • Poor prenatal nutrition
  • Weakness in cervix or a short cervix
  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Epilepsy
  • Infection
  • Lung condition
  • Asthma
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Heart problems
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Lupus
  • History of a premature labor
  • Previously having a child with some genetic condition like Down syndrome
  • History of miscarriages
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Being pregnant with multiple fetuses
  • Preeclampsia
  • Sickle cell disease

High risk pregnancies generally require a woman to schedule a number of prenatal hospital visits with an obstetrician, because to monitor closely the progression of the pregnancy. Women with high risk pregnancies were counseled to be particularly attentive to their health, eat nutritious diet, gain proper amount of weight & avoid any risky substances or in taking of high dosage of medications. Doctors will usually prescribe vitamins, iron supplements or medicines which will enhance the health of mother & baby.

In addition to the regular screening exams, additional tests will be recommended for the further assess of health & development of baby. These include a biophysical profile or targeted ultrasound that will provide doctors more detailed information when compared to standard testing. Delivery of high risk pregnancy is recommended to take place in hospital setting, because giving birth at home will be considering as too risky for women with serious health complications. Based on the individual case, the baby can be delivered vaginally or by a C-section.