Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

Medical Disorders and Pregnancy

Editor's Note

Medical complications of pregnancy may have adverse effects on the mother, fetus and newborn. The physiologic changes that occur during a normal gestation may aggravate a maternal disease process. The diagnostic and therapeutic acumen of the physician, the severity of the disease, and the stage of gestation at which the complication occurs all have an impact on the outcome of pregnancy. The sum of these variables may cause the complication to improve, equilibrate, or deteriorate during pregnancy.

Preconception counseling, behavior modification and healthy life style are effective for good pregnancy outcomes. Pregnancy-specific materials are effective cessation aids for many pregnant women to stop smoking and use of alcohol and illicit drugs. Clinicians also may consider offering or referring patients for additional psychosocial treatment.

The purpose of this section is to provide a brief overview of the medical disorders affecting the pregnancy, labor and outcomes. The management guidelines provided have been validated by appropriately conducted clinical research. When outcomes-based research is not available, expert opinion is provided to aid the practitioner.

Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

Women's Health & Education Center
Dedicated to Women's and Children's Well-being and Health Care Worldwide