Preeclampsia: Signs, Causes, Risk Factors, Complications, Diagnosis & Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 


During pregnancy, there are certain diseases that you can develop, which not only have adverse impacts on you but the baby too. Pregnancy-associated diseases are pretty common all around the world. In Indian women, it is relatively common, too! It has been found that 5% to 15% of Indian women have shown the presence of preeclampsia, one of the scariest pregnancy-associated diseases. But don’t you worry! This blog discusses all you need to know about preeclampsia elaborately. Towards the end of this blog, you will also find treatment options and the consultation options we provide at Her Care Group for the health of your baby and you! Let’s dive in.


Preeclampsia in a nutshell…

Preeclampsia, as the name suggests, is the preceding (pre) stage of eclampsia (seizures followed by a coma). Logically, it could be made out that leaving preeclampsia untreated could lead to eclampsia which is life-threatening for you and, more importantly, your baby during pregnancy.

In preeclampsia, the major change in your body that occurs is that your blood pressure spikes up, and there is an increased protein concentration in your urine. These changes lead to other changes in the body that compromise your and the fetus’s health, which will be listed further in this blog. Before that, however, here are some key points you should note about preeclampsia:

What preeclampsia causes?

You might wonder why it is only during pregnancy that this disease occurs. And what has it got to do with blood pressure?

The answer to these questions lies in the organ that connects you to your baby, quite literally. It is the placenta. The placenta is an organ made up of connective tissues that develop during pregnancy, and it is responsible for the exchange of nutrients and blood between you and your child. In the early stages of pregnancy, the blood vessels develop around the placenta to provide it with blood and oxygen, however, in preeclampsia, this maturation of blood vessels fails and the development doesn’t happen very well. This leads to disturbed circulation and exchange of blood between the placenta and the mother’s circulatory system, explaining the high blood pressure during the condition.

Furthermore, since maturation takes time, it can be seen why the symptoms usually only show up 20 weeks into pregnancy. Now what causes improper development of these blood vessels is dependent on several factors, and research is yet to be done to determine those factors.

Apart from the root cause of preeclampsia discussed above, some other factors or conditions could also lead to preeclampsia. These are known as risk factors.

The risk factors of preeclampsia are…

The above-listed risk factors of preeclampsia are all health-linked, all of which have to do with interference in the process of placental maturation. However, there is a rather obscure or implicit risk factor that is linked to the socio-economic background of a woman.

It is important to understand that a healthy lifestyle is important in preventing such diseases from developing since the root cause of these diseases is poor health maintenance. This is the reason why preeclampsia is more common in women with low income. They oversee their health due to financial reasons and end up making them more prone to diseases like preeclampsia.

What signs suggest that I have preeclampsia?

As previously stated, the most obscure sign that indicates you might have preeclampsia is an increase in blood pressure and excess protein concentration in your urine. However, these signs are internal and you cannot feel these changes directly. Other internal and external signs  suggest the occurrence of preeclampsia, which is usually examined during your prenatal visits as well. The most common signs of preeclampsia include:

Beware, do not confuse your normal pregnancy symptoms with signs of preeclampsia!

It is very easy to misidentify the symptoms of preeclampsia as symptoms that are normal during pregnancy. For example, weight gain is common even in normal pregnancy. However, in the case of preeclampsia, this gain is very sudden. It is common to not be able to distinguish between a normal condition and preeclampsia for some of its symptoms. Hence, it is so important to see a doctor during pregnancy so that they can carry out preeclampsia diagnosis processes or diagnostic tests if you have been experiencing the listed signs and symptoms. It is not worth it to overlook certain symptoms during pregnancy at the cost of your and your baby’s health.

Another instance where preeclampsia can be missed is when mothers have high blood pressure conditions before pregnancy. Usually, mothers are mistaken by thinking that their blood pressure condition will not impact the baby. However, certain conditions can lead to the development of preeclampsia. For example:

We have understood the causes of preeclampsia and also learned how to identify it, but what are the effects of this condition? The effects are nothing but the several complications that can occur during pregnancy if left untreated.

What are the complications of preeclampsia?

No mother would want their baby to go through such adverse health problems, especially right after birth. So what should you do?

Preeclampsia treatment options?

There seems to be no apparent cure for preeclampsia, but it can be treated for sure. Through medication given by your healthcare provider, you could suppress the symptoms and reverse the effects on the blood pressure caused by this condition. This also reduces the impact of preterm birth on your baby. Due to this blog being purely intended for informational purposes, it is recommended that you get checked by a specialist for treatment options.

At Her Care group, you can find specialists in the field of pregnancy who can consult you for treatment options and also rightly help in the diagnosis of the condition. We also have a pregnancy program that covers your prenatal checks and ensures a healthy and safe pregnancy, not only for you but also for the sake of your baby!

In summary…

Taking care of your health during pregnancy is crucial for both you and your baby’s well-being. Preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition, can have adverse effects on both of you if left untreated.

Don’t take any chances with your health or the well-being of your child. Choose to prioritize your pregnancy by seeking professional health consultations and partnering with dedicated healthcare providers. Remember, a healthy and safe pregnancy is the best gift you can give to yourself and your precious little one.

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