Challenges for Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea in Pregnancy
But the diagnosis of pregnant women with sleep apnea is already lagging behind. Partly that’s because sleep apnea diagnosis overall isn’t as accomplished as we would like, with 80% of sufferers going undiagnosed.
We need better screening procedures for pregnant women. Few pregnant women are told about the risk of sleep apnea during pregnancy. Even fewer are actually screened for the condition, even though they often complain to their doctor about sleep problems, including snoring.
If we want to make sure women have the best chance of having a healthy pregnancy and giving their child the best odds of a happy, successful life, we need to make sure women know about sleep apnea and that they are screened for the condition.
Women who were healthy before pregnancy might not think to ask their doctor about sleep apnea. They might notice the primary symptoms–snoring and daytime sleepiness–and think they are normal, expected, and harmless consequences of pregnancy.
If women remain undiagnosed, they will not get the necessary treatment to avoid additional complications.