Gynaecologists always keep eyes on blood pressure of their pregnant patient. High Blood Pressure can lead to Preeclampsia. It generally begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal prior to pregnancy. During Preeclampsia ,a pregnant lady can have protein in the urine. It affects at least 5-8% of pregnancies.
What causes Preeclampsia?
Several factors can cause preeclampsia.
Early in pregnancy, new blood vessels grow and evolve to efficiently send blood to the placenta.In women with preeclampsia, these blood vessels don’t appear to develop or function properly. Therefore, insufficient blood flow to the uterus and damage to the blood vessels can cause preeclampsia.
The following may increase the risk of developing preeclampsia:
- First pregnancy
- Women whose mothers and sister had preeclampsia
- Women who had chronic hypertension
- Women younger than 20 years and older than age 40
- Having babies less than two years or more than 10 years
- If you’re obese.
- In women who are carrying twins, triplets or other multiples
What are the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia sometimes develops with no symptoms. Monitoring your blood pressure is an significant part of prenatal care because the first indication of preeclampsia is commonly a rise in blood pressure. Blood pressure that exceeds 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or greater abnormal.
Other signs and symptoms of preeclampsia may include:
- Excess of protein in your urine (proteinuria) or additional signs of kidney problems.Any amount of protein in your urine over 300 mg in one day may indicate preeclampsia.
- Severe headaches
- Blurred vision, inability to tolerate bright light
- Vomiting or nausea
- Pain in the upper right abdomen, shortness of breath
- Decreased urination
How preeclampsia can be diagnosed?
At each prenatal checkup your healthcare provider will check your blood pressure, urine levels, and may order blood tests which may show if you have preeclampsia. Your physician may also perform other tests that include: checking kidney and blood-clotting functions; ultrasound scan to check your baby’s growth; and Doppler scan to measure the efficiency of blood flow to the placenta.
How can preeclampsia complicate your pregnancy?
- Eclampsia– This is a severe form of preeclampsia that leads to seizures in the mother.
- HELLP Syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count)
- Fetal growth restriction.
- Preterm birth.
- Organ damage to your kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, or eyes.
- Cardiovascular disease in future.
How to prevent preeclampsia?
You should maintain your blood pressure to prevent preeclampsia.
- Use little or no added salt in your meals.
- Get enough rest.
- Elevate your feet several times during the day.
Can you have preeclampsia with normal blood pressure?
It is very rare to say a women is having preeclampsia with out any rise in blood pressure.
What is postpartum preeclampsia?
Postpartum preeclampsia is a rare condition that occurs when you have high blood pressure and excess protein in your urine soon after delivery.
Signs and symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia — which are typically the same as symptoms of preeclampsia such as headache, protein in urine, high blood pressure, decreased urination.
Always maintain your blood pressure to avoid further complication especially during pregnancy.