What is Pregnancy-induced Hypertension or Pre-eclampsia?

Although being pregnant can be one of the most joyous moments in a woman’s life, it can also present some difficulties. Pre-eclampsia, often known as pregnant hypertension, is one such difficulty. Around 5-8% of pregnancies are affected by pre-eclampsia, a dangerous illness that can be problematic for both mother and fetus. We’ll discuss pre-eclampsia in this blog article, including what it is, how to diagnose it, how to treat it, and—most importantly—how to lower your risk factors.

Pregnancy-induced Hypertension (Pre-eclampsia)

Pre-eclampsia is a dangerous medical disorder that develops during pregnancy and is often referred to as pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). It can cause high blood pressure, harm to organs like the liver and kidneys, and in severe cases, seizures. It is usually detected after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Although the precise etiology of pre-eclampsia is unknown, it is thought to be connected to issues with the placenta that result in decreased blood flow to the fetus. This decrease in blood flow sets off a chain of events that ultimately results in high blood pressure and other pre-eclampsia-related symptoms.

Pre-eclampsia can affect anyone, regardless of age or health status, but some risk factors raise your chance of getting it, such as being obese, having diabetes, or having had pre-eclampsia in the past.

Women who think they may have pre-eclampsia should contact a doctor right away because, if untreated, it could develop into eclampsia, resulting in complications that could be fatal for both mother and child.

Why does pre-eclampsia occur?

There are several factors that could contribute to the development of pre-eclampsia, and its specific cause is yet unknown. According to one notion, the placenta’s insufficient ability to generate blood vessels may play a role. High blood pressure and other pre-eclampsia symptoms can result from the placenta not functioning properly.

Pre-eclampsia can also include genetic or immune system problems as a contributing factor. Pre-eclampsia is more likely to occur in women with autoimmune diseases like lupus or those with a family history of hypertension.

According to several research, lifestyle choices including smoking, being overweight, and not exercising enough while pregnant may raise the risk of pre-eclampsia.

Although the exact causation of this ailment is yet unknown, it is obvious that a number of elements are involved. In order to ensure that they receive the right prenatal care and ongoing monitoring during their pregnancy, pregnant women should always work closely with their healthcare practitioner.

Risk Factors of Pre-eclampsia

The risk of pre-eclampsia, a hazardous illness that can develop during pregnancy, extends to both the mother and the unborn child. Pre-eclampsia is an unknown exact cause, however there are a number of risk factors that can enhance a woman’s likelihood of getting the condition.

Pre-existing Hypertension

Pre- or early-pregnancy high blood pressure is one important factor. Pre-eclampsia is more likely to occur in women with pre-existing hypertension than it is in women with normal blood pressure.


Age is another danger factor. Due to the increased stress on their bodies during pregnancy, women over 35 are more prone than younger women to develop pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia is also more likely to arise in several pregnancies. This may be due to the added strain carrying several babies places on the body, particularly the vascular system.


The likelihood of a woman getting pre-eclampsia is further increased by obesity, diabetes, and kidney problems. These ailments have an impact on how well your body works and may make it more difficult for it to adapt to changes in blood flow during pregnancy.

Pregnant women should be aware of their health concerns and maintain close communication with their healthcare practitioner throughout the course of their pregnancy in order to monitor any potential symptoms or side effects associated to pre-eclampsia or pregnancy hypertension.

Diagnosis of Pre-eclampsia

A dangerous medical condition called pre-eclampsia can emerge during pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia must be identified early since, if untreated, it might have serious effects.

Pre-eclampsia must be diagnosed in different stages. Your healthcare professional will first inquire about your medical background and any current symptoms you may be having. 

Additionally, they will conduct a physical examination, taking your blood pressure and looking for any indications of swelling or fluid retention.

Blood tests, including platelet counts or liver function tests, are also ways to check for specific indicators of pre-eclampsia and urine tests to look for protein in the urine.

Additional monitoring could be required if pre-eclampsia is detected as a result of these preliminary examinations and tests. To monitor fetal growth and health, this may entail more frequent blood pressure tests or ultrasounds.

Pregnant women should keep all of their prenatal visits in order to catch any potential problems early and prevent them from getting worse.

Signs and Symptoms of Pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia can appear during pregnancy, usually after 20 weeks. Pre-eclampsia symptoms should be watched out for because, if untreated, they can result in serious consequences.

High blood pressure is one pre-eclampsia sign that is frequently present. Although there may be no symptoms at all, this will be discovered during standard pregnancy checks. Protein in your urine and swelling, especially in the hands and feet, indicate pre-eclampsia.

Another typical symptom that could signal the onset of pre-eclampsia is headaches. Even over-the-counter pain relievers frequently fail to relieve these headaches, which can be severe or chronic.

Pre-eclampsia may also manifest as vision abnormalities, such as seeing spots or flashing lights. It’s vital to call your doctor right away if you have these vision changes along with other symptoms like a headache or edema.

Upper abdomen pain, nausea or vomiting, decreased urine production, shortness of breath, and anxiety are additional, less frequent symptoms.

It’s crucial to watch for any odd changes during pregnancy and notify your healthcare practitioner immediately so they may be properly assessed and managed.

Treatments for Pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia treatment is based on the severity and gestational age of the pregnancy. While severe instances may necessitate hospitalization, mild ones can be managed through routine prenatal checkups.

Medication management is one strategy that is frequently used to treat pre-eclampsia. Doctors may prescribe blood pressure-lowering drugs such as labetalol or methyldopa to treat hypertension in pregnant women.

For women with severe pre-eclampsia, doctors may advise bed rest in addition to drug therapy. The circulation in your legs and ankles can be improved, and swelling reduced by lying on your left side. This can be a specialized part of lifestyle changes for pregnant women with hypertension.

The best way to treat pre-eclampsia is typically to deliver the baby if a woman is at least 37 weeks pregnant. If necessary, this may entail performing a cesarean section or inducing labor.

Despite the hazards of giving birth too soon, early delivery may be essential if a woman’s condition worsens before she reaches full term (37 weeks). This choice will rely on the woman’s specific circumstances.

It’s crucial to understand that delivering the baby and placenta is the only treatment for pre-eclampsia. Therefore, careful observation by medical specialists is essential throughout antenatal care to guarantee that both mother and child stay healthy throughout this condition.

Adjusting diet can also help reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia. Eating healthy foods could help you prevent instances of high blood pressure.

Emphysema and pre-eclampsia

A potentially fatal pregnancy disorder called pre-eclampsia can develop into eclampsia. When pre-eclampsia is ignored or badly managed, eclampsia develops. It is characterized by elevated blood pressure, protein in the urine, and seizures in pregnant women.

Eclamptic seizures have the potential to harm both the mother and the fetus, leading to an early birth. In extreme situations, it may potentially cause the death of the mother. Pre-eclampsia must therefore be identified early through routine prenatal care appointments.

Please seek emergency medical assistance if you suffer any pre-eclampsia symptoms after 20 weeks of pregnancy, such as headaches, visual problems, nausea, or vomiting. To determine whether you require therapy, your healthcare professional will examine your blood pressure and look for symptoms of organ damage.

Depending on the severity of your problem, treatment options may include bed rest, hospitalization, and medication to decrease your blood pressure and stop seizures. If required, early delivery may also be advised to safeguard your health and the well-being of your unborn child.

Because pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, as well as other pregnancy issues, are possible, it’s crucial to pay attention to any warning signals. These diseases can be adequately managed without endangering either the mother or the unborn child with appropriate prenatal care and prompt discovery & management!

How would it impact my child?

Pre-eclampsia or pregnant hypertension may harm your unborn child. Blood flow to the placenta is impacted by the disorder, which can cause sluggish growth and early birth.

Babies that are born before 37 weeks may experience issues such as trouble breathing or regulating their body temperature. A C-section may be required to deliver the baby fast and stop further damage in cases of severe pre-eclampsia.

Babies born to mothers who have pre-eclampsia may be prematurely born as well as have low birth weights. This increases their risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes as well as long-term health problems like developmental delays.

It’s critical for pregnant women experiencing pre-eclampsia symptoms to get medical help right away. In order to reduce risks for both mother and child, regular prenatal examinations can also aid in the early detection of the illness.

Pre-eclampsia during pregnancy can have adverse effects on the health of your unborn child, but immediate treatment under a doctor’s supervision can significantly enhance outcomes.

How will it impact my upcoming pregnancies?

Pre-eclampsia during one pregnancy can raise your risk of experiencing it again during subsequent pregnancies. The likelihood of a recurrence can also be influenced by the time and severity of the prior episode.

However, having previously experienced pre-eclampsia does not guarantee that you will do so again. Many women who have experienced it once have healthy, straightforward pregnancies.

Your doctor might suggest a few precautions if you have had pre-eclampsia and are considering getting pregnant again. These can involve taking low-dose aspirin or keeping a closer eye on your blood pressure during the first trimester of pregnancy.

If you have ever had pre-eclampsia, it is crucial that you show up to all prenatal checkups so that any potential issues can be found and treated as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that every pregnancy is unique, and a variety of circumstances might affect a woman’s risk of developing pre-eclampsia. Therefore, try not to stress out too much about what might occur the next time; instead, concentrate on taking care of yourself and adhering to your doctor’s instructions throughout your pregnancy.


Pre-eclampsia, sometimes referred to as pregnancy hypertension, is a dangerous ailment that can have life-threatening consequences for both the mother and the unborn child. As early detection and treatment of pre-eclampsia are essential, it is necessary to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of the condition.

Make careful to discuss your risk for pre-eclampsia with your healthcare practitioner if you are pregnant or intend to get pregnant. To aid in the prevention or management of the illness, they could suggest specific lifestyle modifications or drugs.

Keep in mind that a healthy pregnancy requires regular prenatal care. Seek quick medical assistance if you suffer any pre-eclampsia symptoms, such as elevated blood pressure or swelling in your hands and feet.

You can contribute to ensuring a safe birth and healthy baby by remaining aware and proactive about your health during your pregnancy.