Preeclampsia is a condition that occurs to some pregnant women, during which there would be high blood pressure and high protein level in the urine. Often it occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy (30-35th week) and in rare cases it can occur after delivery. Preeclampsia can cause sudden seizures during pregnancy which can affect the normal growth of fetus. Not all the pregnant women would develop preeclampsia. And in case any pregnant woman has this condition, the doctor would closely monitor her health and fetus health.
Why only some pregnant women develop preeclampsia and others not? There is no clear reason to explain this question. Not having proper nutritious diet during pregnancy can cause this problem. It is believed to occur when there is not sufficient blood supply in the uterus. Women who have weak immunity have increased risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy.
Who Are At Risk ?
Teenage women who are pregnant have more chance to develop preeclampsia, since the uterus would not have developed fully preparing itself for the growing fetus. Women with a family history of this problem have high risk. If a pregnant woman already has blood pressure she may develop preeclampsia. Women with immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus before pregnancy may get preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a condition and not a disease. It can cause increase in blood pressure, increase in the level of protein, and increase in weight. It is quite common for pregnant women to have weight gain due to the growing fetus. But if this weight gain is due to rapid increase in the level of bodily fluids it may be due to preeclampsia.
Some women may show symptoms of dizziness, confusion, tiredness and headache due to preeclampsia. Normal urine outflow may get decreased during this stage. In case any pregnant woman develops sudden weight gain with blurring of vision and decreased urine output, it can be due to preeclampsia. It is wise to monitor your health regularly if you are pregnant and report any changes in blood pressure to prevent further damage.
If your doctor suspects preeclampsia, she may order for urine analysis. Increased level of protein in urine and increased blood pressure can indicate this condition. She may order for complete blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.
No medications are available to treat preeclampsia. Treatment can be given only for managing the symptoms. Often, the symptoms of preeclampsia will resolve after childbirth without any treatment. Blood pressure can be controlled using suitable drugs if there is sudden increase in blood pressure. As a protective measure, the doctor would give steroid medications to improve the growth of fetus properly with the condition of preeclampsia.
Women with this condition should be careful in managing their health as well as the fetus. Taking complete rest can help in controlling blood pressure. For women who develop seizures due to preeclampsia, Lorazepam can be given. If the doctor feels that baby’s growth is complete, she may consider making C-section delivery if the pregnant women has completed 34th week.
In severe cases, the women would be hospitalized and given emergency treatment until the completion of delivery. In rare cases, preeclampsia can affect the growth of fetus with sudden decrease in blood flow to the uterus. Hence both the women and the baby’s health will be monitored closely by the doctor. In rare cases placenta can get cut off from the uterus leading to abrupt stoppage of fetus growth. In that case, surgical procedure is done to save the life of the baby. Kidney or liver of the fetus can get damaged due to severe types of preeclampsia.
You can do nothing to prevent preeclampsia. But you can always be more careful when you are pregnant. Visit your doctor regularly and report any changes to her. Check your blood pressure and monitor your weight and tell your doctor if you find any abnormalities. With little care and close monitoring of your health, you can avoid complications caused by preeclampsia.