Preeclampsia is a condition which affects women in the 2nd half or 20 weeks into their pregnancy stage. It is also known as PIH- pregnancy- induced hypertension (or toxemia). This disease affects you (as the mother) as well as the fetus. In some instances, it also happens after the child delivery is done.
Preeclampsia – Its Risk and Impact!
If by any chance you are hearing about it for the first time, then you should know that this is a common disease which has plagued countless females across the sphere. Take a look into some of these hard-hitting statistics!
- Scientists and health care experts’ say- around 5-10% of all pregnant women are at risk of this disease.
- This disease also estimates to account for 40-60% of maternal deaths in most developing nations.
- Around 10-20% of women suffering from severe eclampsia or preeclampsia also develop HELLP syndrome.
About 500,000 women die every year due to pregnancy diseases. Out of them, around 13% is due to unidentifiable preeclampsia. Taking up statistics of 2002, about 6.6 million ladies (worldwide) suffered from it during that point.
Furthermore, this pregnancy induced hypertension disorder was the cause of 15% premature births in industrialized countries. Sources during then, states- the disease to be the sole reason doctors went about delivering babies prematurely.
Who Are All At Risk?
It is potentially a life threatening disease, affecting both the mother as well as the child- even if mothers fine as fettle.
In opinion of doctors-
‘Preeclampsia is a condition occurring due to high blood pressure (hypertension) particularly in females who did not experience this disorder previously!’
In words of some health experts- it also takes place in ladies having high protein levels in their urine. And those who often complain about swelling in their legs, hands and feet!
Preeclampsia is a disorder which takes place in 1st-time pregnant females. But some doctors state it can happen (studies prove it) to females becoming pregnant for the 2nd time as well. As per them
‘If the timeline from the 1st pregnancy to the present (2nd pregnancy) is 10 years, there is also a chance of them suffering from it.’
Although it can occur to you even if you have never had issues with high blood pressure, you are still not completely safe. It can also take place in these situations-
- You have any history of the disease
- Whether your mother, sister or any other female family member has had this before
- The past with obesity
- Record of kidney issues, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or for that matter diabetes
- You are younger than 20 years of age or older than 35
- Expecting twins or triplets
But some doctors also state situations when a woman becomes pregnant again but the time span from their 1st pregnancy is 10 years or above.
Safe to say, if you are pregnant and see any of these afore-mentioning conditions, then it is advisable to consult a doctor.
The Note-Taking Signs and Symptoms
In addition to all these above risks, there are other symptoms of preeclampsia. Some of its other common signs as follows-
- Abdominal pains and serious headaches/migraine pain
- Experiencing changes in re-flexes
- Excessive vomiting and indications of nausea
- Changes in vision
- Lessening of urine to no output
- Severe dizziness on a regular basis
These alone are some common signs. With them, if you also experience-
- Floaters, flashing lights, and blurry sights
- Blood pressure reading around 140/90
- Unexplained swelling of your face, eyes and also hands
- Gestational diabetes
- Sickle cell disorder
- Numerous sclerosis
- Having Body Mass Index (BMI) around 35 and above
then, you should seek professional medical care immediately. Another alternative is taking up low-dose of aspirin right from the 12th week of your pregnancy stages. And to continue taking it until the time you have a delivery.
Also, this disorder is also very common ladies becoming pregnant with egg donations, ‘in virto fertilization’ and donor insemination.
Preeclampsia – The effect it has on you and your yet to be born child
Doctors who did attain success in treating women with preeclampsia say that females who develop it close to their delivery date don’t experience much problems. Rather, they do fine! But problems occur the earlier you develop it.
As that happens, greater risks develop both for you and eventually hamper your child growth.
- It can hamper many internal organs and lead to austere or even life-threatening complications.
- The disease can also cause the blood vessels to constrict. It could lead to a reduction in blood flow and high blood pressure syndromes.
- It also disturbs your kidney, brain and liver and causes your small blood vessels to leak fluids into your tissues, eventually causing ‘Edema’.
These small blood vessels within your kidney leaking protein, it spills from your bloodline and enters into your urinary bladder. That, in turn, leaks out from your urine.
Doctors state that a small leakage of protein from urine output is acceptable. But when it’s more than normal then it means that less blood is reaching to the uterus. And when that happens, it leads to developmental problems for the unborn child.
- Your child may experience substandard development.
- He/she may get scarce amniotic fluid as well as placental abruption (the section when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall before delivery.
Its treatment depends on the severity of the disease. You will be hospitalized for the 1st round of assessment.
- Your blood pressure and urine will undergo an examination to check the seriousness of the disorder.
- For the condition of your child, an ultrasound and feasibly a non-stress as well as biophysical profile check-up will also take place.
37 weeks with the disease, you will likely be induced, particularly for your cervix which possibly is thin and dilating.
For severe conditions!
For extreme situations, you will have to attend a high-risk pregnancy expert, and you will likely have to spend your entire pregnancy stage in the hospital.
Medications to lower down your blood pressure will include as part and parcel of your day. If signs of seizures occur, then magnesium sulfate (intravenously) will be given to you.
There are cases when preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome occurs after delivery. The time span is between 48 hours to 4 weeks post child birth. In such instances, you would again need to do a blood pressure check-up. If a few of its common symptoms such as a headache or pain in your abdomen or thighs happen again, it is recommendable to see your health expert ASAP!
Preeclampsia is a disease which you should not take lightly. Though one obvious reason is your as well as the health of your child depends on it. But another fact as per WHO- World Health Organization states that 20-40% young/virgin females and 11-37% sisters also become prone to its risks. Surely this should be an eye-opening for you, particularly if you want your baby to be born, grow up and call you ‘MOM’!