A pregnancy is referred to as high risk when it imposes potential complications on the maternal or fetal health, or both. The medical specialty that deals with the problems of high-risk pregnancies is known as high-risk obstetrics. High-risk pregnancy is caused due to a number of factors including maternal age, medical conditions existing both before and during pregnancy, multiple births, or previous abnormal pregnancies. These complications occur in nearly 6-8% of all pregnancies. A high-risk pregnancy is identified by conducting routine screening tests, such as ultrasound or blood tests, along with other diagnostic tests, such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis. These screening tests are used to identify certain genetic conditions as well as other health complications. Women with high-risk pregnancy must frequently visit their maternal fetal medicine specialist usually an obstetrician or gynecologist, in order to ensure prenatal care and effectively manage their lifestyle. High-risk pregnancy treatment varies according to the complications associated with it such as chronic health conditions including high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, HIV. Other risk factors that predispose the mother to high-risk pregnancy include smoking, obesity, alcohol, drugs, genetic defects, pregnancy with multiple fetuses, etc. Anxieties and fears are characteristic features of high-risk pregnancy which also affects the happiness of the couple during the crucial months of gestation. Early detection, control, and effective communication are considered as best treatment strategies utilized by the specialists and may further help in minimizing the risks associated with maternal and fetal health.
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