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Maternal complications during pregnancy

Last updated: October 5, 2021

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Nausea and vomiting are common conditions of pregnancy and are typically treated with hydration and nonpharmacologic methods. If nausea is refractory to nonpharmacologic methods, antiemetics should be started and added in a step-wise fashion. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe form of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy characterized by ketonuria and weight loss, and typically requires inpatient admission, intravenous fluid hydration, and antiemetic therapy. Cervical insufficiency refers to painless cervical dilation that occurs in the absence of uterine contractions and/or labor, usually in the second trimester of pregnancy, and that may require cervical cerclage. Other maternal complications of pregnancy include peripheral edema, gestational thrombocytopenia, and gestational diabetes.

In pregnant women, a thorough history, examination, and, if necessary, diagnostics are essential to rule out potential causes of nausea and vomiting that are not pregnancy-related.

Because antiemetics are potentially teratogenic, their use should be considered only if nausea and vomiting are refractory to dietary changes and supportive therapy.

A shortened cervical length alone is not sufficient to diagnose cervical insufficiency.

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