1/3 Reproductive Age Women Have Chronic Conditions That Complicate Pregnancy

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One in three women of reproductive age have at least one chronic condition that could compromise their health or lead to adverse outcomes during pregnancy, according to University of Utah Health scientists.

Check the list for yourself if you're planning for a baby.

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The conditions that may complicate your pregnancy include:

  • Asthma
  • Breast cancer
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Lupus
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid problems
  • Tuberculosis

University of Utah Health scientists claim one third women of reproductive age have at least one of the above chronic conditions, yet few of these women are using the most effective forms of contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

Many of them aren't seeing an OB/GYN until they are pregnant. That means they lost the opportunities to understand the risks of pregnancy, particularly if their disease isn't under control.

Long-acting, highly effective contraceptive methods, such as an intrauterine device (IUD) or contraceptive implant, are recommended to prevent unintended pregnancies until the preexisting conditions are stabilized and the woman chooses to become pregnant.

However, according to the researchers, 33% in the study has at least one chronic conditions but less than 8 percent of those women were using the most highly effective forms of birth control.

Cost, personal preference, and insurance are all factors in birth control choice. Women on Medicare or Medicaid were more likely to have a record of IUDs or contraceptive implants than women who were uninsured or had private insurance.

But misinformation is also a big factor, some women believe or are told that they are infertile because of their chronic health conditions. So, they are less likely to prioritize contraception.