Red Flag Symptoms in Pregnancy

Being aware of the important, red flag symptoms is the best way to avoid risk. Though all symptoms look normal during pregnancy, there are some which you should look out for. If you have any of the following symptoms, inform your gynecologist immediately. It is important to get medical attention. And remember – do not have over-the-counter medications during pregnancy without consulting your doctor. Here is a list of red flag symptoms in pregnancy.

Pain in the abdomen

Some pain in the belly is normal during pregnancy as the fetus grows. Severe and constant pain in the upper or lower part of the abdomen needs attention. Sharp pain in the upper or middle part of the abdomen, particularly during the second trimester may indicate complications like pre-eclampsia. Severe, consistent pain in the lower part of the abdomen may be a sign of ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, premature labor, breaking of the fibroid, or even placental abruption.


Women are susceptible to infections during pregnancy, but a fever without any symptoms of cold or flu should be reported to the doctor. Remember to call your doctor if the temperature rises above 102˚F.

Vision changes

Vision changes, particularly after 5 months, may be a sign of a complication. This includes blurred vision, double vision, flashing spots, and dimming vision. These symptoms may be due to a complication, pre-eclampsia.


Swelling, or edema as it is medically called, is normal during pregnancy. Sudden onset or severe swelling of hands, face, and feet, particularly with other symptoms like a headache and vision changes, may be signs of pregnancy complications. Inform your doctor immediately.

Severe headache

A severe headache that lasts for more than two hours associated with vision changes and swelling in the body may be a sign of pre-eclampsia. This is a sign generally seen during the second and third trimesters.

Vaginal bleeding

During early pregnancy, some amount of spotting and bleeding are normal. It is always better to get medical attention if you have bleeding at any stage of pregnancy. Bleeding associated with pain in the abdomen or back, sudden, painless bleeding, and heavy bleeding may be associated with different pregnancy complications like low-lying placenta, placental abruption, ectopic pregnancy, or premature labour.

Increase in thirst

A sudden increase in thirst along with dark-colored urine may indicate dehydration. Increase in thirst with increased frequency of urination may be a sign of gestational diabetes.

Pain during urination

Pain or burning sensation during urinating may indicate urinary tract infection. Also look out for symptoms like smelly or cloudy urine, shivering, abdominal pain, back pain, and increased body temperature. Do meet your doctor to start the treatment.

Severe itching

Mild itching is normal during pregnancy as the skin stretches to accommodate the growing fetus. But severe itching all over the body, particularly in the night, may be an indication of a liver condition called obstetric cholestasis. Pale stools and dark-colored urine are other symptoms of this condition.

Leaking from vagina

Fluid leakage from the vagina before completion of 37 weeks may indicate that water has broken early. This needs medical attention to prevent infection and treatment.

Constant vomiting

Continuous vomiting may lead to dehydration which can affect you.  Severe vomiting with an increase in body temperature, swelling in the face, and/or pain are red flag symptoms of kidney infection or pre-eclampsia.

It is normal not to be sure of the symptoms that you get during pregnancy. Reassure yourselves by calling a doctor if you do not feel alright at any point in time.

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