Preeclampsia is a medical condition characterised by excess of protein in a pregnant woman’s urine accompanied with high blood pressure.
It occurs after 20 months of pregnancy in women who had normal blood pressure previously. The slightest of increase in blood pressure can be a symptom of preeclampsia which can lead to serious complications for you and your baby.
Since the only cure of preeclampsia is delivering the baby, recognising its symptoms is important. But it can be diagnosed as early as the 20th month of pregnancy, too early for delivery. You will then need to be watchful of avoiding the serious complications that are possible.
Preeclampsia Symptoms in Pregnancy
Preeclampsia develops gradually but can show up abruptly after twenty weeks of pregnancy. It is not serious all the time but there is always a possibility of aggravation of the condition. Women with normal blood pressure, if afflicted can have the following symptoms of preeclampsia:
- A high blood pressure (hypertension) reading of 140/90 millimetres of mercury or higher twice. The two instances of such readings should be at least 6 hours but not more than 7 days apart.
- Excess protein detected in the urine.
- Severe headaches.
- Problems in sight such as momentary loss of vision, blurring of vision or sensitivity to light.
- Pain in the upper abdomen, mostly beneath the ribs on your right side.
- Reduced output of urine.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Inexplicable weight gain, usually around 0.9 Kgs in a week.
Swelling is also a common complaint of preeclampsia patients but it is possible in normal pregnancies as well. It often accompanies preeclampsia.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is advisable to visit a doctor immediately and go into an emergency room as soon as possible. Severe pain, blurred vision and abdominal pain, if occurring at once should alarm you about the urgency of the situation. Some of the preeclampsia symptoms mentioned above can be confused as being normal pregnancy symptoms. This is particularly the case when it is your first pregnancy.
As for any other complication, if any of the symptoms mentioned above seem too severe, contact your healthcare provider immediately. They can make sure whether it is a preeclampsia symptom or the common problems after getting pregnant.
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