Skip to content

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

What May Increase Your Risk for a Problem During Pregnancy or After Delivery?

Many conditions, lifestyle choices, medicines, and diseases interfere with your ability to heal or fight infection. You may be at risk for a more serious problem from your symptoms if you have any of the following. Be sure to tell your doctor.


  • Recent gynecologic procedures or surgery
  • A history of cancer of the cervix
  • A history of physical or sexual abuse
  • A history of a previous blood clot
  • A history of surgery to remove the spleen
  • Previous miscarriage

Lifestyle choices

  • Alcohol abuse or withdrawal
  • Drug abuse or withdrawal
  • Engaging in high-risk sexual practices, such as multiple partners, unprotected intercourse, or prostitution
  • Smoking or other tobacco use



  • Adrenal disease, such as Cushing's syndrome or Addison's disease
  • Asthma
  • Current and prior pelvic infections (pelvic inflammatory disease)
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Depression or other mental health problems, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
  • Diabetes
  • Endometriosis
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
  • Kidney failure
  • Leukemia
  • Liver disease
  • Pituitary disease
  • Sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Von Willebrand's disease or other bleeding disorders

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as of March 20, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy