What Does “High-Risk” Pregnancy Mean?
I’m 36 years old and pregnant. A friend told me that I automatically have a high-risk pregnancy. What is that and what does it mean?
The term “high-risk pregnancy” describes a case where a pregnant woman has one or more factors that could put her or the fetus at risk for health problems.
In general, a pregnancy may be considered high risk if the pregnant woman:
- is 35 years old or older
- is 17 years old or younger
- is underweight or overweight prior to becoming pregnant
- is pregnant with more than one fetus
- has gestational diabetes
- has gone into premature labor
- has had a premature baby
- has had a baby with a birth defect, especially heart or genetic problems
- has high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, lupus, asthma, a seizure disorder, or another longstanding medical problem
Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013