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Introduction to Complications of Pregnancy

by Antonette T. Dulay, MD

Pregnancy complications are problems that occur only during pregnancy. They may affect the woman, the fetus, or both and may occur at different times during the pregnancy. For example, complications such as a mislocated placenta (placenta previa) or premature detachment of the placenta from the uterus (placental abruption) can cause bleeding from the vagina during the last 3 months of pregnancy. Women who bleed at this time are at risk of losing the baby or of bleeding excessively (hemorrhaging). There is also a very slight risk of dying during labor and delivery. However, most pregnancy complications can be effectively treated.