When you have a health problem during pregnancy, and you feel that you can't wait for a regular doctor's visit, then you might choose to use urgent care. While urgent care provides a less specialized care than your ob/gyn's office, they still have qualified doctors who can help you. However, it's important to know the difference between something that can be treated at an urgent care center and something that might be a true emergency. Here are some things you can and cannot get treated at the urgent care center during your pregnancy.
Things You Can Treat at Urgent Care
Some mild, more common pregnancy problems are perfectly OK to take to urgent care:
Morning sickness can be serious enough to affect your daily functioning and even cause dehydration. At urgent care, they may decide to give you intravenous fluids and medication to alleviate the symptoms.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are fairly common during pregnancy and can cause serious discomfort. If left untreated, you could risk kidney damage which could affect your baby, so early treatment is important.
Mild Spotting During First Trimester
While it is not unusual to have some vaginal bleeding during the first trimester, it's good to consult a doctor to rule out any other problems.
Yeast Infection and Itching
Yeast infections and itching, though usually benign, can make you miserable if bad enough. The doctor at urgent care can make sure it's not something more serious and give you safe medication.
Things For Which You Need Emergency Care
However, if you are having serious issues and pain, you should go straight to the emergency room to reduce the chance of serious complications. Some examples include:
Severe Abdominal Cramps
Severe abdominal cramps could indicate something's wrong inside the uterus, or even indicate the beginnings of contractions.
As said before, some light spotting in early pregnancy is normal, but heavy bleeding, such as much as you have during your period or more, is not and may indicate that your pregnancy is in trouble.
Headaches and light-headedness can sometimes indicate blood pressure problems that could put both your and your baby's health at risk during labor. If you are experiencing any type of blood pressure problems, then visit the emergency room right away.
When you're pregnant, you are likely to be concerned about anything that could affect your baby, and sometimes you can't wait for a doctor's appointment. For those in-between times when you need immediate, care for less-serious issues, urgent care can work out perfectly. However, if you're not sure that what you are experiencing is an emergency or not, then err on the side of caution and visit the emergency room. Otherwise, contact your nearest urgent care center for your other health needs.