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High-Risk Pregnancy

High-Risk Pregnancy

Pregnancies that require monitoring by perinatologists due to certain pre-existing conditions of the expectant mother, conditions that arise during pregnancy, the detection of potential health issues or abnormalities in routine screenings, or a high risk of miscarriage or preterm birth are referred to as high-risk pregnancies. The classification of a pregnancy as high-risk is determined through specific examinations and tests conducted by an obstetrician. The monitoring of high-risk pregnancies is carried out by the perinatology department, consisting of doctors specially trained in this field.

In high-risk or complicated pregnancies, in addition to routine tests and examinations, some advanced-level diagnostics may be requested. The frequency of examinations for high-risk pregnancies is higher compared to normal pregnancies to safeguard the health of the expectant mother and closely monitor the baby's development. During intervals between check-ups, it may be advised for the expectant mother to rest more and avoid certain activities. Bed rest is often recommended in high-risk pregnancies.

Tests Conducted in High-Risk Pregnancies

In cases where pregnancy monitoring is conducted by perinatologists due to high-risk pregnancies, some advanced-level analyses and tests may be requested. Throughout this process, support can also be sought from obstetricians, endocrinologists, physiotherapists, or internal medicine specialists. In addition to routine tests during pregnancy such as the dual test, triple test, quadruple test, and detailed ultrasound, specific tests for high-risk pregnancies may include cervical length measurement, amniocentesis, fetal DNA testing, glucose tolerance tests, chorionic villus sampling, cordocentesis, and others. Non-stress tests (NST) may be initiated in the early weeks of monitoring high-risk pregnancies. The decision to request these tests and similar ones should be made by the obstetrician or perinatologist overseeing the expectant mother's care.

Which pregnancies are considered high-risk pregnancies?

In cases where a pregnancy is considered risky or high-risk, the expectant mother is informed and referred to the relevant specialist. As a result of the examination performed by risky pregnancy specialists, the pregnancy is defined as risky and its follow-up is started. Although it is not definite, the expectant mother should be examined with the suspicion of a risky pregnancy in the following cases:

  • The expectant mother is younger than 18 years or older than 35 years,
  • The expectant mother's weight is too low or too high above or below normal limits situations,
  • Difficult pregnancy situations in which the expectant mother has waited and struggled for many years for pregnancy,
  • The presence of a disease that requires follow-up, such as heart disease, epilepsy or high blood pressure in the expectant mother,
  • Miscarriages and losses experienced by the expectant mother in the past and previous external pregnancy status
  • Previous premature birth,
  • Excessive bleeding or uterine rupture in previous births,
  • Diseases of genetic origin in the family,
  • Shortening of the length of the cervix in an ongoing pregnancy,
  • Presence of high blood pressure and gestational diabetes due to pregnancy,
  • Multiple pregnancies,
  • Detection of a chromosomal abnormality in screening test results,
  • Situations in which the amniotic fluid is above or below normal limits,
  • Situations in which the placenta is located in the cervix or adheres to the uterine wall should be monitored for risky pregnancy.

It is crucial for expectant mothers categorized as having a high-risk pregnancy and undergoing continued monitoring to pay attention to the recommendations and advice of their doctor and not miss their scheduled check-up appointments. The doctor may recommend bed rest, special diets, or exercises. The use of a pregnancy corset to reduce mechanical pressure may be advised. Depending on the progression of the pregnancy, the expectant mother may be advised to abstain from sexual activities during certain periods or throughout the entire pregnancy. It should be noted that such prohibitions and rules are evaluated specifically for each pregnancy, and decisions may vary from person to person.


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