What is preeclampsia?

A mother attributed her son’s prematurity to a condition called preeclampsia. I asked for clarification and the mother explained it’s a condition characterized by high blood pressure, and the presence of protein in the urine. The mother reported some of the symptoms were: swelling, headaches, hypertension, and vomiting or nausea. I decided to do some research to educate myself and others.

What is Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are important symptoms; however, some women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms.

Typically, preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks gestation (in the late 2nd or 3rd trimesters or middle to late pregnancy), though it can occur earlier. Proper prenatal care is essential to diagnose and manage preeclampsia. Preeclampsia, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) and toxemia are closely related conditions. HELLP Syndrome and eclampsia are other manifestations of the same syndrome. It is important to note that research shows that more women die from preeclampsia than eclampsia and one is not necessarily more serious than the other.

Globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year.

For more information, please visit : Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is the development of swelling, elevated blood pressure, sudden and rapid weight gain and protein in the urine during pregnancy. The exact cause is unknown, but it occurs in approximately 5% of the population.

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