Pre-eclampsia, or blood pressure increases that start after the 20 week of pregnancy, is one of the main causes of concern in pregnant women, as this severe form of hypertension may affect the course and outcome of pregnancy. Pregnancy induced hypertension may present as high blood pressure alone or be accompanied with other conditions, such as protein in the urine, swelling and even convulsions. Other symptoms include rapid weight gain of 4-5 lbs in a week, severe headache, blurred vision and severe pain in the stomach under the ribs.
The condition can be detected during antenatal visits and should be treated and monitored appropriately. During a routine check-up, your doctor will check your blood pressure, urine levels, and may order blood tests that can indicate pre-eclampsia.
Treatment involves medications, dietary modifications, mild exercise and activity, along with sufficient rest. In severe cases, your doctor may want your baby to be delivered early. It is important to remember that hypertension during pregnancy is a serious condition and should be taken care of, in order to prevent further complications. If left untreated, this condition can cause serious problems for both you and your baby. It can cause placental abruption (premature detachment of the placenta from the uterus), less blood flow to the placenta and growth restriction. This may even affect the function of your liver, kidneys and blood clotting mechanism.
Convulsions that occur in severe cases due to cerebral irritation. This is very severe and may call for ICU admission and intensive care.