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Chronic Diseases and Pregnancy

Chronic Diseases and Pregnancy

Speaking about health before pregnancy, we mean way of life, nutrition, physical activity, habits, and also possible chronic diseases, such as heightened blood pressure or diabetes. If you have such diseases, then you just have to visit a doctor beforehand. You know, this may complicate pregnancy, bring harm to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor which medicinal preparations and in which doses you take. Doctor will recommend you tests and observations you should pass, for example, X-ray photography. Try to discuss all questions you have for the moment.

It is much simpler to think over a strategy of treatment before pregnancy and then worrying about complications.


Diabetes – it is a disease, appearing as a result of lack of insulin in organism, this hormone is produced by pancreas. If you have diabetes, it will be more difficult for you to become pregnant. Moreover, diabetes can influence passing of pregnancy seriously. First of all, it can become a reason of miscarriage or giving birth to a dead baby. Secondly, women suffering from diabetes can give birth to babies with inborn defects.

You can reduce risk of such complications due to constant control of sugar content in blood during pregnancy. If you don’t care of your state, then diabetes while pregnancy may turn out to be dangerous both for you and your future baby. Majority of complications, connected with diabetes, are displayed during first trimester, i.e. during first 13 weeks of pregnancy.

Pregnancy may cause complications of state while diabetes, what will require increase of insulin doses. This can be easily determined with help of test on sugar content in blood. Majority of doctors recommend taking a special care of this disease development during at least 2-3 months before conception. This will help to reduce probability of risk of miscarriage or other problems. Probably, you will have to pass tests on sugar content in blood several times per day, to control disease completely and avoid possible complications. Past experience shows that women, suffering from diabetes, had serious problems with conception and passing of pregnancy. But die to complete and constant control even women-diabetics can count on successful result of pregnancy and delivery.

If in your family there were cases of diabetes or you have slightest suspicions as for your own health, pass tests before pregnancy surely.


About 1% of pregnant women suffer from asthma. It is impossible to predict influence of pregnancy on asthma. Half of women, suffering from this disease, notice no changes during pregnancy, about 25% feel even slight improvement, and the rest (25%) observe worsening of state.

Majority of anti-asthma remedies are safe for pregnant, but it is still better to consult a doctor as for preparation to take. Almost all who suffer from asthma know what may become a reason of fit, so avoid contact with allergens before getting pregnant and during whole pregnancy. Try to control your state yet before pregnancy.


Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can cause complication both of mother’s and unborn baby’s health. For women it is connected with risk of refusal of kidneys work, probability of hypertensic crisis or headache. Increase of a future mother’s blood pressure may become a reason for decrease of blood inflow to placenta, what will lead to delays of fetus development, i.e. a baby will weigh less, than normal while birth.

If you had high blood pressure before pregnancy, then you just have to take care of it during all 9 months. Probably, gynaecologist will send you to therapeutist’s or family doctor’s observation with this purpose.
Before making a decision to become pregnant, women, suffering from hypertension, should consult a doctor. Some remedies against high blood pressure are safe for pregnant, some are not. On no account quit taking pills and reduce dose without a doctor’s prescription! This can be dangerous. If you plan giving birth to a baby, ask you doctor about remedies you are taking against high blood pressure, and about safety of taking these medicines during pregnancy.

Heart diseases

During pregnancy load on heart increases about 50%. If you have sick heart, it is necessary for your doctor to know about it before you become pregnant.

Some heart diseases, such as mitral valve prolapse, can seriously complicate passing of pregnancy. Probably, you will even have to take antibiotics before delivery. Other heart diseases, such as inborn heart disease, may seriously influence state of health. In this case pregnancy and delivery are sometimes contra-indicated.

Consult your doctor as for heart diseases before you become pregnant.

Kidneys and urinary bladder diseases

Infections of urinary system, in particular urinary bladder, often appear during pregnancy. If you don’t cure disease in time, infection may pass to kidneys, causing pyelonephritis.

Infections of urinary bladder and pyelonephritis may lead to premature birth. If you ever suffered from pyelonephritis or repeating infections of urinary system, this should be determined before pregnancy.

Stones in kidneys also may complicate passing of pregnancy. This disease is accompanied by severe pains in lower part of belly, so it is quite difficult to diagnose it during pregnancy. Moreover, stones in kidneys may become a reason of appearance of infections of urinary system and pyelonephritis.

If you ever had some only infection of urinary bladder, you should not worry a lot. But you still should inform your doctor about it. He will decide whether you need to pass more careful observation before pregnancy.

Thyroid gland diseases

Thyroid gland diseases may appear both because of excess or lack of thyroid hormone. Excess of hormone is called thyrotoxicosis. In this case metabolism in human organism is speeded up. This may be caused by Graves’ disease. Thyrotoxicosis is usually cured with help of operation of medicinal remedies, reducing content of thyroid hormone in organism. If you don’t cure this disease, there’s rather high level of risk premature birth and giving birth to a baby with low weight.

You can carry our treatment during pregnancy too: there’re quite safe preparations, which pregnant women may take.

Lack of thyroid hormone – hypothyroidism – is usually caused by disease of autoimmune origin. In this case thyroid gland is damaged by anti-bodies, which are produced by your organism. While hypothyroidism taking of thyroid hormones is prescribed. Not cured hypothyroidism threatens with sterility or habitual noncarrying of pregnancy.

If you have thyrotoxicosis or hypothyroidism, you need to pass through observation before pregnancy, to determine doses of medicinal remedies, necessary for treatment. In the process of pregnancy your necessity in preparations may change, and then you will have to pass another observation.


Anemia means that there’s lack of haemoglobin in your organism. There’re several reasons and in connection with this several kinds of anemia. Symptoms of anemia are weakness, giddiness, lack of air and pale skin.
During pregnancy necessity of organism in iron and iron-containing substances increases. If in the beginning of pregnancy you suffer from lack of iron in blood, anemia increases this lack. So you need to take vitamins and preparations, containing full choice of microelements, necessary for organism.

One of specific types of anemia – sicle-cell disease, which is passed genetically: it is mainly spread among black population. If you suffer from sicle-cell disease, your organism is deprived of oxygen. Passing of this kind of anemia can be very painful, and it also may serve as a reason for other diseases and complications during pregnancy. Sicle-cell disease cannot be cured and may be passed to your baby. Women, suffering from sicle-cell disease, have very high percent of miscarriages and infections of urinary system. They also may suffer from high blood pressure and painful hypertension strokes.

Another kind of anemia – thalassanemia is also passed genetically. If some of your relatives suffers from thalassanemia or you suppose you can have it, check it before pregnancy.


Lupus is a vascular disease of autoimmune origin. This means your organism produces anti-bodies that may destroy your organs or influence functions of these organs negatively. Lupus can affect different organs, including joints, kidneys, lungs and heart.

This disease is hard to diagnose. One woman of 700 in the age from 15 to 64 years suffers from lupus. Among black women it is met more often, in one case of 254. As a rule, lupus more often strikes women, than men, especially women of genital age, i.e. from 20 to 40 years.

Lupus treatment is highly individual and usually means taking if steroids. It is better not to become pregnant during fit of this disease, as miscarriages are extremely often among women suffering from lupus. Risk of giving birth to a dead baby also increases.

Babies, born from mothers, suffering from lupus, can have rash. They also can have different heart diseases. Premature birth and delay of pre-natal development of fetus are also quite possible.
If you suffer from lupus, consult your doctor before pregnancy definitely.

Epilepsy and epileptic seizures

Epilepsy – is a chronic disease, characterized by different kinds of seizures (fits). Most often epilepsy is displayed by big and small epileptic seizures. Chance of giving birth to a baby with epileptic disease can be 1 of 30 for women, suffering from epilepsy. Such babies have risk of in-born diseases, probably, connected with medicines, which a future mother took during pregnancy.

If you take medicines against epilepsy, it is very important to consult your doctor before pregnancy. Discuss doses and type of medicines, which you take, as many preparations, relieving seizures of epilepsy, cause in-born diseases in babies. However, there are safe remedies for fetus, for example, Phenobarbital.

Seizures can be dangerous both for mother and fetus. So it is especially important to take remedies precisely according to a doctor’s prescription during pregnancy. On no account reduce dose or quit taking medicine yourself, without a doctor!


About 15-20% of all pregnant women suffer from migraine. Many women notice improvement of health during pregnancy. If you are going to take pills against headache during pregnancy, check with your doctor how much they are safe for you and future baby.

Cancerous growths

A question of probability of cancer’s influence on pregnancy depends on the fact which organ it stroke and how wide is growth. Breast cancer is most often form of cancer, met among women. If you had breast cancer, this will not influence pregnancy anyway, and pregnancy, in its turn, will not cause breast cancer.

Many doctors advice to wait 2-3 years with childbirth after breast cancer treatment. It is very important to discuss case history and method of treatment with your doctor yet before pregnancy. Situation may become quite complicated, if you are pregnant and pass treatment at the same time. Many medicines and remedies against cancer are not safe for future mother and baby.

Other diseases

We examined only some chronic diseases. However, any disease can be dangerous for future baby. So if you suffer from some chronic disease or have to take medicines constantly, discuss it with your doctor.
General rule is following: it is better not to take medicines or pass any medical treatment at the moment of conception and on early stages of pregnancy. Laying of all organs and tissues of a baby takes place during 1st trimester of pregnancy, and during this period you need to protect a future baby from harmful influences of medicines or observations. You will feel better and calmer, if you solve all these problems before pregnancy.