Common Conditions That Can Develop During Pregnancy

Updated on February 24, 2020

Familiarity with the common conditions that can develop during pregnancy can help doctors identify issues early and help pregnant patients prevent more serious complications. Here are some of the most common conditions:

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a very common condition that pregnant women can develop. This is when a woman who doesn’t have diabetes develops the condition during pregnancy. Controlling the woman’s blood sugar levels with a healthy diet, exercise, and possibly medication can help manage gestational diabetes without harm to the woman or the fetus. 

Here are the risk factors for gestational diabetes:

  • Patient is over the age of 25
  • Patient had prediabetes prior to becoming pregnant
  • Patient is overweight


Preeclampsia is another common complication of pregnancy. Insufficient blood flow to the uterus, damage to blood vessels, or an immune system issue can cause the condition. Women who are more than 20 weeks into their pregnancies and who have no prior history of high or low blood pressure are at risk of developing preeclampsia. This condition is tricky to catch in patients because it can develop without symptoms. High blood pressure is usually a slowly developing issue within pregnant women. Women experiencing headaches, light sensitivity or otherwise decreased vision, abdominal pain, nausea, and shortness of breath may be exhibiting signs of preeclampsia. 

Here are the risk factors for preeclampsia:

  • Family history of the condition
  • Chronic hypertension
  • Patient’s first pregnancy
  • Patent’s second or later pregnancy, with a new father
  • Patient is over 40 years old
  • Patient is overweight
  • Patient is pregnant with multiples
  • Pregnancy is less than two years after or more than 10 years after a previous pregnancy
  • Fetus was conceived via in vitro fertilization

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is another condition that commonly affects pregnant women. Deep vein thrombosis is the clotting of blood in deep veins, typically within the patient’s legs. Pregnant women are more at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis because of the added strain on the lower part of the body’s circulatory system. Identifying a high risk of developing deep vein thrombosis can help pregnant patients prevent it

Here are the risk factors for deep vein thrombosis during pregnancy:

  • Patient is on bed rest or lives a naturally sedentary lifestyle
  • Patient is overweight
  • Patient is 35 or older
  • Patient smokes during pregnancy or smoked before becoming pregnant
  • Patient is pregnant with multiples
  • Patient contracts a urinary tract infection during pregnancy

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