The Harsh Reality of Pregnancy: A Dangerous Medical Condition With a Host of Potential Side Effects

The society promotes pregnancy as a beautiful, joyful experience women cherish. Pregnancy is a harsh medical condition costing women their health and sometimes even their lives. 

So Much Can Go Wrong

Pregnant woman sitting on a bed holding her belly looking off in the distance like she's deep in thought.
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Even the best pregnancies aren’t without minor complications, but no one knows how their body will react to pregnancy until they’re pregnant. 

Here’s just a tiny sampling of the dangers and complications pregnant people face. 

Morning Sickness

Pregnant woman sitting on the edge of the bed with her hand over her mouth as if she's going to be sick to represent morning sickness.
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Morning sickness is one of the most common pregnancy complications. Some women have it far worse, unable to keep anything down for months. 

Gestational Diabetes

A young worried looking pregant woman sitting on a couch holding a blood sugar level checker.
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Some women randomly develop diabetes during pregnancy, which increases their blood pressure and may lead to a more difficult birth experience. 

Hair/teeth loss

a hand holding a clump of hair in front of a pregnant belly.
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The fetus’s needs come first. It will leech the mother of essential nutrients, sometimes leading to hair loss and teeth loss. 

Preeclampsia

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This dangerous condition inhibits proper organ function. Preeclampsia causes high blood pressure, headaches, blurred vision, and more. The condition can lead to maternal death if not treated properly. 

Ectopic Pregnancy

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Fertilized eggs don’t always attach to the uterine wall where they belong. Sometimes they get stuck elsewhere, like in the fallopian tube. Because there’s no room to grow, these pregnancies eventually rupture, resulting in death if not treated swiftly. 

Placenta Problems

Worried looking pregnant woman in a hospital bed.
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The placenta can detach from the uterine wall or grow in the wrong spot, resulting in many problems for the mother. Placenta problems can cause bleeding, tenderness, and birth complications. 

Sepsis

Uncomfortable looking pregnant woman lying in a hospital bed.
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Sepsis claims responsibility for 15% of all maternal deaths worldwide. Sepsis is your body’s reaction to infection. Any infection can trigger a response resulting in sepsis. 

Anemia

Pregnant woman holding a pack of red iron pills.
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Mild anemia is common during pregnancy, meaning many pregnant women suffer from iron deficiency. It can make it more difficult to fight infections during pregnancy and cause increased blood loss during delivery. 

Blood Clots

Pregnant woman in pain on the couch.
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Pregnant women are at high risk for blood clots due to changes their bodies make in preparation for childbirth. However, these blood clots could cause serious complications, including death, if they reach the brain, heart, or lungs. 

Mental Health Concerns

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Pregnancy creates numerous physical complications, but it also impacts women’s mental health. Hormonal changes due to pregnancy can lead to depression and anxiety.

Childbirth is Much Worse

Woman grimacing during labor in childbirth at the hospital.
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This list showcasing the hidden dangers of pregnancy doesn’t even delve into the horrors women experience in childbirth. Labor and delivery lead to a completely different host of ill health effects, ranging from short-term complications to lifelong disability and even death. 

Women Need the Truth

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Many websites highlighting pregnancy complications focus on the risk to the baby, neglecting the genuine dangers for the mother. 

Women need to know the truth about how pregnancy and childbirth can affect their mental, physical, and emotional well-being. 

Women Deserve a Choice

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Even this tiny list of possible complications highlights the desperate fight for women’s reproductive choices.  Many will paint pregnancy as a minor inconvenience; however, it’s anything but. It’s a nine-month-long ordeal rife with complications that can lead to permanent disability and even death. 

Forcing anyone else to undergo similar trauma would be a clear human rights violation, so why isn’t it when the victim is a woman?

Pregnant Women Must Be Celebrated

Smiling pregnant woman standing at a window holding her pregnant belly.
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Women who know the risk and choose to bring children into the world despite it deserve praise. However, they also deserve time to heal and a society that supports them through pregnancy and the trials and tribulations of raising humanity’s next generation.

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