Preeclampsia is generally discovered when the healthcare professional examines the weight growth, blood pressure, and urine during standard prenatal visits. If the doctor suspects preeclampsia, they might ask to do additional blood tests and monitor the health of the kidney and liver.
Preeclampsia is a hazardous medical condition that can develop halfway through pregnancy, normally after 20 weeks. It usually disappears after delivery, but in some cases, it can continue even after delivery. Preeclampsia, which is also known as toxaemia is seen in women who experience high blood pressure, protein in their urine, headaches, impaired vision and swelling in their hands, feet, and legs. They can have mild to severe variations. And though preeclampsia can occur in the first trimester or right after birth, it typically occurs in the later stages of pregnancy. A dangerous illness called Eclampsia, a dangerous illness that can entail health hazards for mom and baby and, in rare instances, result in death, can develop from preeclampsia. Eclampsia develops during pregnancy or, in rare cases, after delivery, just as preeclampsia. Seizures are a side effect of this condition's high blood pressure.
Symptoms of Preeclampsia
According to studies, 8 per cent women around the world suffer from preeclampsia, which causes complications during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is characterised by high blood pressure (more than 140/90 mmHg) and possible excessive levels of protein in the urine. The heart and other organs get strained by preeclampsia, which can result in severe effects. Additionally, it may affect the placenta's blood flow, harm the liver and kidneys, or may result in fluid accumulation in the lungs. High presence of protein in urine indicates renal diseases. In addition to the above-mentioned symptoms, preeclampsia may also cause bad headaches, vision changes, such as temporary blindness, hazy vision, or light sensitivity; Breathlessness brought on by pulmonary fluid; decreased blood platelet levels (thrombocytopenia); hepatic issues are indicated by increased liver enzyme levels; upper abdominal discomfort, commonly on the right side under the ribs and nausea or diarrhoea.
Preeclampsia may be detected if a mother suddenly gains weight or developsoedema, especially in their hands and face.
Causes of Preeclampsia
There is no precise cause as to why preeclampsia happens in pregnant women. But, according to studies, the chances of having preeclampsia may increase due to certain risk factors like- having twins or triplets; being over 40 and getting pregnant for the first time; having preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy; or having preeclampsia in the family; being overweight; using in vitro fertilisation to get pregnant despite having a history of health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney illness, lupus or other autoimmune disorders, and sickle cell disease.
How is Preeclampsia diagnosed
Preeclampsia is generally discovered when the healthcare professional examines the weight growth, blood pressure, and urine during standard prenatal visits. If the doctor suspects preeclampsia, they might ask to do additional blood tests and monitor the health of the kidney and liver. They might also suggest collecting urine for 24 hours to check for proteinuria. Additionally, they might also look at the size of the foetus and gauge the amount of amniotic fluid by using an ultrasound and other prenatal monitoring techniques. There are two levels of preeclampsia: mild and severe. A mother who has high blood pressure together with high quantities of protein in their urine, can be given the diagnosis of mild preeclampsia. Their doctor can diagnose preeclampsia more quickly and prevent complications by providing them with early and consistent prenatal care. Having a diagnosis will enable the doctor to monitor appropriately up until the time of birth.
There is no cure for preeclampsia. Giving delivery is the only way to treat preeclampsia and eclampsia. Depending on how long the baby is due, and how healthy the baby is developing inside the mother and the severity of preeclampsia of the mother, the doctor will discuss with the mother when to give birth. The doctor might recommend inducing labour or performing a caesarean section if the baby has grown well. They will suggest this usually after 37 weeks or later. By doing this, preeclampsia won't worsen. A mother and her doctor may be able to manage moderate preeclampsia if the baby is not yet near to term until the time comes for a safe delivery. The doctor could occasionally prescribe drugs to assist lower the blood pressure. In addition, they might prescribe drugs to stop seizures, a potential preeclampsia consequence. The doctor might also decide to hospitalise a mother so that they can monitor them more carefully. They can be given intravenous (IV) drugs to reduce their blood pressure or steroid injections to hasten the development of the baby's lungs. A 2019 research review found that some people may benefit from taking low-dose aspirin beyond their first trimester to help lower the risk.