Pregnancy seems like a simple term, doesn’t it? It’s something that is supposed to happen naturally when a couple is ready to start a family. However, getting pregnant can involve a lot of time, energy, and patience, and even then, there are different types of pregnancies that may occur. Yes, there’s more than one kind!
There are various reasons why a certain of pregnancy can take place, such as physical differences in the reproductive system, multiple eggs being released or multiple sperms fertilising the same egg, health problems, and more.
Read on to find out more about the more about different kinds of pregnancies in women.
Different Pregnancy Types in Women
1. Intrauterine Pregnancy
This is a normal pregnancy, in which the fertilized embryo (or embryos) is implanted inside the main cavity of the uterus, and the placenta eventually forms to help the embryo develop into a baby.
2. Molar Pregnancy
Molar pregnancies are pregnancies in which the placenta and embryo develop abnormally, and the placenta tissue may become a tumour. A molar pregnancy is of two kinds – complete and partial. A complete molar pregnancy occurs when the placenta is formed abnormally, but there is no embryo to support. A partial molar pregnancy occurs when both the placenta and embryo are abnormally formed. A molar pregnancy takes place when the fertilized egg has an extra set of chromosomes. This eventually leads to a miscarriage or a planned abortion, as the foetus is unable to develop in a safe and healthy manner.
3. Ectopic or Tubal Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg gets implanted outside the main cavity of the uterus, such as the neck of the uterus or the abdomen. In most cases, the embryo gets embedded in the Fallopian tube (which transports the egg into the uterus), thus causing a tubal pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is unsafe for both the mother and the baby, as the baby cannot develop properly, and the mother’s life might be harmed. If the miscarriage does not occur naturally, an abortion may be required.
4. Intra-Abdominal Pregnancy
An intra-abdominal pregnancy is caused when the embryo gets implanted outside the uterus in the abdominal cavity. Usually, the embryo is implanted in the uterus or Fallopian tube first, but it slips out through a tear or rupture. For example, the scar left behind after a C-section may weaken and tear, allowing the foetus to slip into the abdominal cavity. Some intra-abdominal pregnancies remain undetected and there are chances of the foetus not surviving. A complete hysterectomy may be needed after birth.
5. Singlet Pregnancy
A singlet pregnancy is when one egg is fertilized by one sperm, and only one foetus develops.
6. Multiple Pregnancy
Multiple pregnancies occur when two or more embryos are formed and implanted in the uterus. Let’s take the example of twins. If one egg that is fertilized by one sperm divides into two embryos, then identical twins are formed, who share the same genetic make up. If two separate eggs are fertilized by two separate sperm, fraternal (non-identical) twins are formed, and they do not share the same genetic make up. Fertility treatments may result in multiple foetuses.
7. High-Risk Pregnancy
A pregnancy is termed as high-risk when the woman is above a certain age (around 35), is diabetic, has multiple foetuses, or any health conditions that could affect her, the foetus, and the overall pregnancy. In some cases, if medication is required to control the health conditions, the pregnancy could be termed as high-risk. A history of any prior complications in childbirth could also lead to a high-risk pregnancy.
8. Lupus Pregnancy
A lupus pregnancy is a type of high-risk pregnancy. Lupus is an auto-immune disease, which can complicate pregnancy for a woman, by increasing the risk of the woman developing preeclampsia. If a woman has been diagnosed with Lupus, it is important that the pregnancy be well-planned, so as to avoid surprises and complicated pregnancy.
9. Chemical Pregnancy
This is the clinical term for the loss of a pregnancy that occurs shortly after implantation. The egg is fertilized and implanted in the uterus, but it then stops growing and developing soon after. This loss generally takes place before an ultrasound can detect the heartbeat of the foetus.
10. Breech Pregnancy
A breech pregnancy occurs when the foetus’s head is positioned at the top of the uterus, and its feet or bottom are towards the cervix and birth canal. In a normal pregnancy, babies will move with their heads towards the birth canal, to prepare for birth. There are three types of breech pregnancies, depending on the position of the foetus – complete, frank, and incomplete (footling breech). A breech pregnancy can be caused by multiple foetuses present (twins, triplets, etc.), an abnormally-shaped uterus, placenta previa, presence of too much or too little amniotic fluid that affects the foetus’s movement, and more.
There’s so much to know and learn about pregnancy. Did you know there were such different types of pregnancies that can occur? A woman should always get regular check-ups when she is pregnant, and if she has any pre-existing health conditions or had prior complications, then it is best to plan the pregnancy beforehand and monitor it carefully.