Background: Gastrointestinal symptoms are extremely common in the pregnant patients which may lead to morbidity in pregnancy with only few researches to support the prevalence of these symptoms and the effects on the outcome of pregnancy. Hence the present cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of gastro-intestinal symptoms during pregnancy and It’s effect on outcome at a tertiary care centre.
Method: A total sample size of 136 pregnant women and 136 non-pregnant women visiting ANC, Gynaecology OPDs and patients admitted in wards were included in the study. The data was collected from patients regarding demographic profile, clinical spectrum. Patients were investigated and treated as per the existing practice without disturbing their routine protocol.
Results: The prevalence rate of nausea and vomiting, regurgitation, flatulence, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, functional constipation and anal incontinence in pregnant women was significantly higher than in non-pregnant women, (p<0.01). Prevalence of nausea and vomiting was observed to be more in first trimester while other symptoms like regurgitation, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation, and anal incontinence presented more in third trimester, (p<0.01). Certain combinations of gastrointestinal symptoms were found to be more prevalent together which showed fetal growth restriction. Maximum frequency was seen of the combination symptoms like nausea and vomiting and diarrhoea which was 62.5% and 36.47% among them had SGA babies. Among 136 deliveries, majority were full-term (77.94%) followed by preterm, (22.06%). All neonates were live birth with 34.55% babies being SGA.
Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of gastro-intestinal symptoms during pregnancy as compared to non-pregnant state. Higher prevalence of nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea have an indirect cause and effect relationship with small for gestational age babies. However, more studies are needed to highlight the vast spectrum of knowledge pertaining to these symptoms and their impact on maternal and fetal health.