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Will low haemoglobin affect my pregnancy?

Q: I am in the eight month of my pregnancy. After a blood test I got to know that my haemoglobin is low - it is only 8. My doctor has asked me to take injections to increase the haemoglobin level. But when I took the second dose there was complete black out in front of my eyes. I was sweating but I have to take 10 such injections. Will low haemoglobin affect my pregnancy? Can you please help me? I also swaet and feel stressed, and weak. How do I increase my haemoglobin?

A:About 80% of Indian women are anaemic i.e. have haemoglobin less than 12 g/dl (<11 g/dl for pregnant women) with the usual cause being physiological loss of blood during menstrual cycle combined with inadequate nutritional intake. The problem gets compounded in pregnancy when the body needs of iron go up. Anaemia during pregnancy may cause problems for both the baby and mother and that is why every pregnant lady is prescribed iron and folic acid tablets. The rate of rise of haemoglobin on taking iron tablet or iron injection is the same. I am not sure which 10 injections are being given to you as iron by injection is given in a single dose. The indications for using injectable iron are very rare and the preferred route is oral. You can take any iron preparation but make sure that 100 mg of elemental iron per day is taken, preferably along with fruit juice. An iron rich diet (meat, eggs, green vegetables, etc) is a must. Please consult your doctor to clarify the injection and the need for it.

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