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Introduction: Pregnancy is a very special period for women, they experience emotional, physical, and physiological deviations. The majority of females encounter peripheral edema during their gestation time. The objective of this study was to determine the occurrence of edema in the natal and post-natal period, risk factors, and their association with edema.
Methods: An observational study was conducted at Cantonment Hospital and Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rawalpindi, Pakistan from August 2018 to January 2019. Out of 405 females, 18-35 years of age and 3rd trimester of gestation or post-natal period and women with previous venous diseases or high-risk gestations were included. Whereas women with edema in other body parts and those after puerperium were excluded. The data was collected by self-structured questionnaire, edema grading scale, and limb measurement. Data were analyzed by SPSS 23.
Results: The frequency of leg edema was 65.9% and higher in the third trimester, especially during the eighth and nine months of pregnancy. It could lead to several other symptoms like pain and cramps that could be intensified by long-standing and comforted through rest whereas a few other factors that affect edema contain less water intake and lack of exercise. There is a significant association between edema and its related risk factors including months of pregnancy, exercises during pregnancy, and activity level (p < 0.001).
Conclusion(s): Lower limb edema is prevalent in late pregnancy, especially during the 8th - 9th month. There is a significant association between edema and its related risk factors including months of pregnancy, exercises during pregnancy, and activity level.
Keywords: Edema, lower limb, pregnancy, prevalence.
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