5 Common Pregnancy Complications

Pregnancy is a beautiful and transformative journey, but some women are at a higher risk of developing various complications that require careful management. Being aware of potential pregnancy complications and understanding how to navigate them can help ensure a happy and healthy pregnancy for both mom and baby. 

Pregnancy Complications

Here at Kernodle OB/GYN, we understand that pregnancy complications introduce challenges that oftentimes need to be properly managed. These complications can vary from mild to life-threatening, and may be due to the pregnancy itself or aggravated by preexisting complications. Knowing common complications alongside effective strategies can help expectant mothers navigate these complexities with confidence. 

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, with more than 90% occurring in the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy can be caused by several risk factors, including a previous ectopic pregnancy, STIs, pelvic inflammatory disease, cigarette smoking, advanced maternal age, or a history of infertility. This condition can be life-threatening if not detected early, which makes knowing the symptoms important. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, and dizziness. Surgical intervention or medication is typically required to address this complication.

Gestational Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects roughly 11.3% of the U.S. population. But did you know there is a type of diabetes that only affects pregnant women? This is called gestational diabetes and is one of the more common pregnancy complications. This type of diabetes is due to your body not making enough insulin during pregnancy and causes high blood sugar that can affect you and your baby’s health. To manage your gestational diabetes, it is important to check your blood sugar levels, eat a healthy diet, and lead an active lifestyle. For most women, gestational diabetes will go away soon after delivery. 

High Blood Pressure

Gestational hypertension, another term used for high blood pressure, is one of the pregnancy complications that usually subsides after birth. This condition is most often found in women with pre-existing hypertension, kidney disease, diabetes, and multiple fetuses. It is important to keep tabs on your blood pressure during your pregnancy due to the complications it can have during and after delivery. The good news is gestational hypertension is preventable and treatable. Contact your healthcare provider if you are worried about your risk of developing high blood pressure during your pregnancy. 


Certain infections can pose risks to both the mother and the developing fetus. Examples include urinary tract infections (UTIs), yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis (BV), and sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and syphilis. It is important to get a timely diagnosis in order to prevent complications. To decrease your risk of pregnancy complications due to infections, it is important to wash your hands frequently, not eat undercooked or raw meat, don’t share your food or drinks with others, and don’t expose yourself to cat litter. 


According to the Preeclampsia Foundation, preeclampsia is a condition characterized by high blood pressure and is often associated with high levels of protein in the urine. It usually occurs after 20 weeks of gestation and can lead to complications such as premature birth, low birth weight, and in severe cases, organ failure. Those who are obese or have chronic high blood pressure are more likely to experience this pregnancy complication. To prevent preeclampsia, avoid foods high in salt, drink water, get enough rest, and exercise regularly. 

Undoubtedly, pregnancy complications can bring on feelings of fear and concern. Knowing common complications and their management strategies is important for a happy and healthy pregnancy. At Kernodle OB/GYN, we provide complete obstetric care services, high-risk pregnancy management, and full-scope midwifery care. To learn more about our services or for questions about pregnancy complications, visit our website, or request an appointment today.

Help us serve you better and tell us how we're doing.