Preeclampsia is a medical condition during pregnancy in which a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure and protein in the urine. This condition generally occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. This high blood pressure during pregnancy can damage the maternal endothelium, kidneys, and liver. In severe disease there may be red blood cell breakdown, a low blood platelet count, impaired liver function, kidney dysfunction, swelling, shortness of breath due to fluid in the lungs, or visual disturbances. Preeclampsia increases the risk of poor outcomes for both the mother and the baby. If left untreated, it may result in seizures at which point it is known as eclampsia.
The women with preeclampsia may experience following symptoms:
The exact cause of preeclampsia is still unknown. Possible cases are:
Blood vessel problems
Pregnancy after the age of 35
History of diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease
In medical books, the only way to treat preeclampsia is to deliver the baby. If your baby is developed enough (generally 37 weeks or later), your doctor may recommend delivering your baby so the preeclampsia does not get worse.
If your baby is not fully developed and it is dangerous to deliver, your doctor will suggest few things to ensure a healthy chance of surviving after delivery.
Bed rest, lying on your left side most or all of the time
Drinking plenty of water
Eating less salt
Frequent visits to doctor
Medicines to lower your blood pressure and keep the growth of baby
The baby must be delivered, if there are signs of severe preeclampsia, including:
Severe preeclampsia can do heavy damage to mother
Pain in the belly area
Seizures or changes in mental function
Fluid in the mother's lungs (pulmonary edema)
Low platelet count or bleeding
Low urine output
Abnormal liver function test results
Signs that your baby is not growing well or not getting enough blood and oxygen