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Health problems before pregnancy 

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Prego Power
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Before pregnancy, make sure to talk to your doctor about health problems you have now or have had in the past. If you are receiving treatment for a health problem, your doctor might want to change the way your health problem is managed. Some medicines used to treat health problems could be harmful if taken during pregnancy. At the same time, stopping medicines that you need could be more harmful than the risks posed should you become pregnant. Be assured that you are likely to have a normal, healthy baby when health problems are under control and you get good prenatal care. 

Condition  How it can affect pregnancy  Where to learn more 
Asthma  Poorly controlled asthma may increase risk of preeclampsia, poor weight gain in the fetus, preterm birth, cesarean birth, and other complications. If pregnant women stop using asthma medicine, even mild asthma can become severe.  •    Lung diseases fact sheet 
Depression  Depression that persists during pregnancy can make it hard for a woman to care for herself and her unborn baby. Having depression before pregnancy also is a risk factor for postpartum depression.  •    Depression fact sheet 
•    Depression during and after pregnancy fact sheet 
 
Diabetes  High blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy can harm the fetus and worsen a woman's long-term diabetes complications. Doctors advise getting diabetes under control at least three to six months before trying to conceive.  •    Diabetes fact sheet 
Eating disorders  Body image changes during pregnancy can cause eating disorders to worsen. Eating disorders are linked to many pregnancy complications, including birth defects and premature birth. Women with eating disorders also have higher rates of postpartum depression.  •    Anorexia nervosa fact sheet 
•    Bulimia nervosa fact sheet 
 
Epilepsy and other seizure disorders  Seizures during pregnancy can harm the fetus, and increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. But using medicine to control seizures might cause birth defects. For most pregnant women with epilepsy, using medicine poses less risk to their own health and the health of their babies than stopping the medicine.  •    About Epilepsy 
High blood pressure  Having chronic high blood pressure puts a pregnant woman and her baby at risk for problems. Women with high blood pressure have a higher risk of preeclampsia and placental abruption (when the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus). The likelihood of preterm birth and low birth weight also is higher.  •    Information on high blood pressure from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 
HIV  HIV can be passed from a woman to her baby during pregnancy or delivery. Yet this risk is less than 1 percent if a woman takes certain HIV medicines during pregnancy. Women who have HIV and want to become pregnant should talk to their doctors before trying to conceive. Good prenatal care will help protect a woman's baby from HIV and keep her healthy.  •    HIV and AIDS 
Migraine  Migraine symptoms tend to improve during pregnancy. Some women have no migraine attacks during pregnancy. Certain medicines commonly used to treat headaches should not be used during pregnancy. A woman who has severe headaches should speak to her doctor about ways to relieve symptoms safely.  •    Migraine fact sheet 
Overweight and Obesity  Recent studies suggest that the heavier a woman is before she becomes pregnant, the greater her risk of a range of pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia and preterm delivery. Overweight and obese women who lose weight before pregnancy are likely to have healthier pregnancies.  •    Overweight, obesity, and weight loss fact sheet 
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)  Some STIs can cause early labor, a woman's water to break too early, and infection in the uterus after birth. Some STIs also can be passed from a woman to her baby during pregnancy or delivery. Some ways STIs can harm the baby include low birth weight, dangerous infections, brain damage, blindness, deafness, liver problems, or stillbirth.  •    Sexually transmitted infections fact sheet 
Thyroid disease  Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can be dangerous to the mother and cause health problems such as heart failure and poor weight gain in the fetus. Uncontrolled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) also threatens the mother's health and can cause birth defects.  •    Graves' disease fact sheet 
•    Hashimoto's disease fact sheet 
 
Uterine fibroids  Uterine fibroids are not uncommon, but few cause symptoms that require treatment. Uterine fibroids rarely cause miscarriage. Sometimes, fibroids can cause preterm or breech birth. Cesarean delivery may be needed if a fibroid blocks the birth canal.  •    Uterine fibroids fact sheet 
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