complications of preeclampsia

What are the complications of preeclampsia?


The serious medical condition affecting the blood pressure midway through pregnancy is called preeclampsia. Untreated preeclampsia heralds serious complications, which may even prove life-threatening. Due to the risks it poses, preeclampsia needs proper medical management by Gynecologist in Islamabad. Read on to know more about preeclampsia and its complications.

What is preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a when there is high blood pressure and protein in the urine after 20thweek of pregnancy. In pregnant ladies, this is dangerous for both the mother and the fetus, particularly as it can progress on to eclampsia andHELLP syndrome.

Mother can protect themselves from preeclampsia by learning more about the illness and getting regular checkups and prenatal care.

What are the symptoms of preeclampsia?

Along with the aforementioned symptoms of hypertension and proteins in the urine, the other symptoms of preeclampsia include:

  • Fluid retention and weight gain, particularly in a short duration of time
  • Changes in the mental state
  • Shoulder pain
  • Abdominal pain, especially in the upper right side
  • Dizziness, and loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Changes it the vision including floaters, blurred vision and flashing lights
  • Severe headaches
  • Decrease in urination

What are the causes of preeclampsia?

The exact cause of preeclampsia has not been determined. Experts hypothesize the possible causes,which include: genetic factors, autoimmune disorders and vascular issues. The pathology lies in the placental tissue—the organ which nourishes the fetus throughout pregnancy. The placental blood vessels seem not to develop normally in women with preeclampsia, and these narrow vessels induce hypertension in women.

Who is at risk of preeclampsia?

The risk factors associated with preeclampsia include:

  • Family history of preeclampsia, or history of preeclampsia in previous pregnancy
  • Someone who is already suffering from chronic hypertension is more at risk of preeclampsia
  • Pregnancy with a new partner.
  • In obese and overweight pregnant women, the odds of preeclampsia are higher.
  • The risk is also higher in women who have an interval of more than 10 years between babies.
  • The risk is highest during first pregnancy.
  • In multiple births, the chances of preeclampsia are higher.
  • Certain medical conditions predispose one to develop preeclampsia; these include: type 1 or 2 diabetes, migraine, hypertension, lupus, chronic kidney disease and procoagulant disorders.
  • In women who undergo in-vitro fertilization, the risk of preeclampsia is higher.

What are the complications of preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia can progress quicker into eclampsia if there are severe symptoms early on and if preeclampsia occurs at less than 20 weeks of pregnancy. The only treatment of preeclampsia is to induce labor and deliver the mother of the baby. Even after the delivery, your healthcare provider will monitor you, as complications can occur in the post-partum period. The symptoms are relieved within a week, but can last longer, up to 6 weeks.

Without management, the complications of preeclampsia include:

  • Fetal growth restriction and small babies, as the arteries supplying nutrition to the baby are constricted. Consequently, the baby is small for its age, and has low birth weight.
  • Babies with fetal growth restriction are at risk of preterm birth. In addition, babies may need to be delivered early, and this preterm delivery can lead to breathing issues and other complications in the baby.
  • Risk of placental abruption—a life-threatening condition in which the placenta separates from the innermost lining of the uterus, causing heavy bleeding and fetal and maternal blood loss.
  • HELLP syndrome involves hemolysis, abdominal pain due to elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count. HELLP can become rapidly life-threatening without treatment.

Eclampsia is the severe form of preeclampsia, when the high blood pressure is accompanied by seizures. It is very difficult to predict which patients will go on to develop eclampsia, and often there are no warning signs. This is one of the reasons why pregnant ladies with preeclampsia need regular prenatal checkups, available for booking at

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