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:
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.
The baby must be delivered, if there are signs of severe preeclampsia, including: