SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF PRE-ECLAMPSIA
Congratulations on your pregnancy. It’s now time to start considering the health or your unborn baby as well as your own health.
Pre-eclampsia can affect some pregnant women at any time of their PREGNANCY or immediately after their baby’s delivery. However, PRE-ECLAMPSIA usually occurs during the second half of pregnancy and ranges from being mild to severe.
Those who are suffering from Pre-eclampsia will have high blood pressure, fluid retention and protein in the urine.
Pre-eclampsia can cause serious problems if left untreated, and some pregnant women may not realise they have it. Although Pre-eclampsia is usually diagnosed during routine ANTENATAL CHECKS, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms to look out for during pregnancy.
What are the Symptoms of Pre-eclampsia?
Sometimes, there are no obvious symptoms of Pre-eclampsia. However, as Pre-eclampsia progresses, it can cause:
- vision problems such as blurred or double vision
- strong headaches
There are also rare symptoms of pre-eclampsia, which may mean a high severity of the condition. These symptoms would lead to emergency medical attention:
- HELLP syndrome – a liver and blood clotting disorder
- Kidney or brain problems
How Will Pre-eclampsia be Diagnosed?
If high blood pressure is observed during an antenatal appointment, then a urine test will be checked for the presence of protein in the urine. In some cases, pregnant women will have high blood pressure without protein in their urine, so this alone wouldn’t suggest pre-eclampsia. However, the presence of urine combined with high blood pressure is generally an accurate indicator of the condition.
How Does Pre-Eclampsia Affect the BABY?
Pre-eclampsia can slow the foetus’s growth due to poor blood supply through the placenta to the baby. When a growing baby is receiving less oxygen and fewer nutrients, the best option can often be to deliver the baby prematurely.
Who is at Risk of Developing Pre-eclampsia?
Any pregnant woman can develop pre-eclampsia; however, some risk factors include:
- You have an existing medical condition such as diabetes, kidney disease or high blood pressure
- You have a family history of the condition
- You developed pre-eclampsia in an earlier pregnancy
- You are expecting twins or triplets
How is Pre-eclampsia Treated?
Pre-eclampsia can be controlled with medications that work to keep blood pressure stable. If pre-eclampsia becomes severe, there can be no other solution than to deliver the baby. If the baby is premature at birth, they may develop complications.