CBC (complete blood count) Gestational age should be taken into account when assessing hemoglobin, as levels decrease during pregnancy due to haemodilution caused by increased plasma volume. The lower limit for hemoglobin is usually 115 g/L, but for pregnant women, the lower limit is usually reported as 100 g/L. Higher than normal white cell counts and platelet counts are common during pregnancy, but their significance depends on the gestational age of the fetus.
Hematocrit levels generally increase during early pregnancy because of increased red cell mass due to erythropoietin production by the developing fetus. However, hematocrit levels may also appear low in early pregnancy when compared with later stages because of the effect of fetal erythropoiesis on maternal red cells. In late pregnancy, blood volume increases due to fluid retention by the uterus so that overall hemoglobin concentration remains constant. Therefore, an individual with high baseline hemoglobin levels will have higher values at later stages of pregnancy.
Erythrocyte indices may vary depending on the method used for analysis. Mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) are all affected by changes in red cell size and hemoglobin content. While all these parameters tend to increase during early pregnancy, MCV and MCH decrease toward the end of pregnancy when more large and young red cells are produced.
In general, the reference ranges are as follows: White blood cells have a cell density ranging from 4,500 to 11,000 cells per microliter (cells/mcL). Men: 4.5 million to 5.9 million cells per microliter; women: 4.1 million to 5.1 million cells per microliter. Hemoglobin levels range from 14 to 17.5 grams per deciliter (gm/dL) in males and 12.3 to 15.3 gm/dL in women. Platelets count between 150,000 and 400,000 per microliter.
These figures are for an individual's "normal" white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet counts. A healthy person should have neither too many nor too few of these cells. Changes in these numbers are often used as markers for disease or injury. For example, people who take steroids such as prednisone may see their white blood cell counts rise above what is considered normal. That can be an early sign of infection - something to watch for if someone takes steroids for more than a couple of weeks.
A normal CBC test results in the absence of any abnormalities. Abnormalities include increases or decreases in any of the three main types of blood cells - white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets - or changes over time in any of these numbers. For example, people who take drugs such as thiopurines, which are used to treat cancer, can develop lymphopenia - low numbers of lymphocytes- which can lead to infections without symptoms. People who have immune systems that work well but still might get sick occasionally could have subclinical infections that don't show up on tests.
Pregnancy puts a strain on your heart and circulatory system. To fuel your developing baby, your blood volume rises by 30 to 50% throughout pregnancy. Each minute, your heart pumps more blood and your heart rate rises. These changes are necessary to provide the body with the oxygen it needs to grow the fetus.
The increased blood volume causes your uterus to grow. Your kidneys have to work harder to remove waste from the extra blood and urine produced during pregnancy. All these changes can lead to problems if you have a history of heart disease or hypertension.
If you have any of these conditions, make sure that you tell your doctor if you are becoming pregnant. He or she will help you decide what kind of test you should have before you become pregnant. These tests will help identify risks to your health as well as the health of the fetus.
There are several ways in which pregnancy affects women with heart disease. If you have angina during pregnancy, there is a risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Pregnant women with heart failure may not be able to handle a rise in temperature or stress properly. They are at risk of developing a condition called decompression sickness (DCS). DCS occurs when bubbles form in your blood due to changes in pressure caused by diving down deep underwater. These bubbles can block arteries leading to your brain and other organs causing death.