High-risk pregnancies are any that actually or potentially threaten either the health or life of the mother or her fetus during pregnancy, labor, or birth. From a radiological perspective, high-risk pregnancies may undergo further screening or have close follow-up with growth and well-being scans.
Approximately 20% (range 6-33%) of women have high-risk pregnancies 1-3.
The National Institutes of Health (USA) lists the following high-risk pregnancy categories 3:
- pre-existing health conditions, e.g. hypertension, polycystic ovarian syndrome, diabetes, renal disease, thyroid disease, obesity, infertility, HIV/AIDS
- pregnancy-related health conditions, e.g. multiple gestations, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia
- age, e.g. adolescent pregnancy, primigravida >35 years
- lifestyle factors, e.g. alcohol, tobacco or other drug use
- 1. Majella MG, Sarveswaran G, Krishnamoorthy Y, Sivaranjini K, Arikrishnan K, Kumar SG. A longitudinal study on high risk pregnancy and its outcome among antenatal women attending rural primary health centre in Puducherry, South India. (2019) Journal of education and health promotion. 8: 12. doi:10.4103/jehp.jehp_144_18 - Pubmed
- 2. Coco L, Giannone TT, Zarbo G. Management of high-risk pregnancy. (2014) Minerva ginecologica. 66 (4): 383-9. Pubmed
- 3. Holness N. High-Risk Pregnancy. (2018) The Nursing clinics of North America. 53 (2): 241-251. doi:10.1016/j.cnur.2018.01.010 - Pubmed