Display Mode:

    Main content

    Health Information

    High-Risk Pregnancy

    High-Risk Pregnancy

    A high-risk pregnancy is one in which the mother or her fetus is at increased risk for health problems. The determination of a high-risk pregnancy is based on the mother's current health status, age, and pregnancy history as well as the presence of a genetic disorder in either parent.

    Specifically, a pregnancy is considered high-risk when a woman:

    • Has a genetic disease (such as cystic fibrosis), chronic disease (such as diabetes), chronic infection (such as HIV), brain disorder (such as epilepsy), heart problems, or high blood pressure.
    • Is overweight or underweight.
    • Is younger than 17 or older than 35.
    • Has had problems with previous pregnancies, such as repeated miscarriages, preterm labor, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or difficult births.
    • Has an abnormality detected during the pregnancy.
    • Has multiple pregnancy (twins or triplets).

    Current as of: June 8, 2016

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

    © 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.