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C. The Importance of Early Diagnosis & Care for High Risk Pregnancies

Narrator: This is Science Today. Every pregnancy carries some risk, but women who have had previous problem pregnancies, suffer from chronic conditions or are over the age of 35 are considered high-risk. Dr. Manuel Porto, a professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California , Irvine , says these women are carefully monitored during the pregnancy. But Porto , one of the nation's leading experts on high-risk pregnancies, emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and care.

Porto : Ideally, a woman with a high-risk medical condition would do very well to actually see a high-risk specialist in consultation before pregnancy. A pre-conception consultation can often uncover problems or prevent problems that might occur in the pregnancy later on. Women with hypertension, diabetes and other serious medical conditions can often have their condition improve so that their outcome of pregnancy would be better as well.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.