The incidence of anemia during pregnancy is a common, but rarely serious complication. Its incidence varies broadly according to the criteria used for diagnosis.

What is anemia and what causes it?

Anemia is defined as decreasing the amount of the protein hemoglobin or oxygen-carrying red blood cells in the blood. It is considered that anemia during pregnancy when the amount of this blood protein is less than 11 grams per decilitre.

Pregnancy is a condition which predisposes to a number of changes in the blood, mainly because it increases the amount of fluid circulating through the blood vessels, which causes some thinning of the blood and red blood cells. Mild forms of this anemia, the most common, are considered physiological, and therefore are not appreciated.

The most important and frequent cause of anemia during pregnancy is iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia.

How does it manifest?

Are common symptoms like tiredness or fatigue, pale skin and mucous membranes of the eyes and mouth, dizziness, difficulty breathing when efforts are moderate or large, heart palpitations and tachycardia or rapid heartbeat.

Effects on the fetus

Mild or moderate anemia rarely cause significant effects on the fetus, but in case of severe anemia (hemoglobin less than seven grams per decilitre) the fetus can be harmed and damaged. It was found that in these cases the percentage of abortion or pre-term delivery, perinatal mortality, puerperal infections, etc …

How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy is reliably simple because after making a patient's medical history and know its symptoms and signs, you can request a regular blood test that will indicate whether or not anemia and if it is caused by a deficiency of iron or some other cause. Usually no other tests are needed.

How is it treated this disorder?

The treatment of this disorder is logically deficient mineral administration, in this case iron. It is usually given as tablets or ferrous salt by drinking ampules, usually from anemia is diagnosed until it resolves over gestation and often also in the postpartum period.

In any case, as we noted earlier, preventive measures such as proper nutrition and extra iron supplements can prevent the development of anemia.

Other types of anemia

Although the most common cause of anemia during pregnancy is iron deficiency, other types of anemia that highlight produced by a lack of vitamin B12 and is called Megaloblastic anemia because RBCs are larger than normal. Treatment of this type of anemia is administration of vitamin B12, which must be given intramuscular since vitamin B12 would have been destroyed in the stomach where orally administrator.

There are other types of anemia varied (as produced by folic acid deficiency), fortunately rare and will not address in this article.