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First Trimester Symptoms That May Be Serious

Alison Wood |24, March 2013


A small twinge of pain in your side. Vomiting twice a day. Extreme fatigue during the day. All these things cross your mind as possible warning signs of a problem during pregnancy. But are they?

The discomforts listed above are actually a typical part of a normal, healthy pregnancy during the first trimester. The small twinge of pain? That's most likely your uterus stretching. The vomiting twice a day? That's due to the increased hormone levels of HCG. Extreme fatigue? That's from all the changes your body is experiencing as it prepares to bring a little one into this world.

So if those ailments are considered normal, what are more serious signs of a problem during your first trimester of pregnancy?

High fevers.

A fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 Celsius during pregnancy may be a sign of a serious problem. Fevers indicate an infection, and if an infection is present, the baby could be at risk. Some infections that are a common cause of fevers during pregnancy are toxoplasma, cytomegoalovirus(CMV) or parvovirus. Contact your physician immediately if you begin to develop a high fever. Take notes if your fever is accompanied by rashes or flu-like symptoms so you can report these as well.

Discharge and itching.

Some vaginal discharge is normal. However, sometimes it is a symptom of an STD or infection. Again, the baby could be harmed by both of these conditions.

What this may mean: If it's an infection, it could harm the baby. Do not neglect to let your doctor know about these issues as he can quickly rule out STDs or infections. There is no reason to be embarrassed as many women experience discharge during pregnancy. It is always best to let your doctor know about discharge changes for the safety of your little one.

Vaginal bleeding.

During the first few weeks of pregnancy, spotting is normal. However, heavier bleeding, like the amount experienced during a menstrual cycle, could point to a serious problem. Heavy bleeding that is bright red in color and is accompanied by menstrual-like cramps could mean a threatened miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Both are serious medical conditions and need medical attention immediately. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, and it usually ends up in the fallopian tubes. If the fallopian tubes burst, this could cause severe internal bleeding. Call a doctor immediately if the bleeding is accompanied by sharp, persistent pain and cramps. All bleeding, including spotting, should be reported to your doctor.

Excessive Nausea and Vomiting.

Most women share their yucky, tummy sick stories as their friends nod their heads in knowing laughter. Yep, we all know those days when the site of a chili dog made our stomach churn and no one was beating us to the restroom! However, some women experience extreme vomiting that can turn serious -- fast. Vomiting that becomes more severeor a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum, can lead to weight loss, dehydration, dizziness, weakness and more problems. Many medications are available to prevent this malady and can keep you on the road to a healthy pregnancy. However, if the vomiting continues, you may need to be hospitalized in order to receive fluids and vitamins intravenously. Dehydration is serious in normal conditions, but even more so during pregnancy as it can cause pre-term labor. Contact your doctor if you are unable to keep fluids down.

Pain or Burning During Urination

These problems could be signs of a urinary tract or bladder infection. If these issues are left untreated, they can lead to pre-term birth of pre-term labor. Simply make an appointment with your doctor to rule out these possibilities. If it is indeed one of these infections, you will be given antibiotics to clean up the infection and help you and your baby have a better chance at a healthy pregnancy.

Severe Headache, Leg or Calf Pain, or Swelling in your Leg

Though it is uncommon, pregnancy can make you more susceptible to blood clots. Blood clots in the calf are characterized by pain or swelling. A blood clot in the brain is known to cause a severe headache. Family history can also give you a clue if you are susceptible to blood clots. Never hesitate to call your obstetrician if you develop any of the above symptoms.

Reappearance of Previous Disease

If you developed diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, lupus or thyroid disease before your pregnancy, you need to keep a close eye on your condition. Keeping it monitored can help your baby enjoy a healthy and safe time in the womb. If the above health problems become out of control, the pregnancy is at a greater risk for miscarriage or other complications.

Alison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers.

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