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Signs and symptoms of preeclampsia and how it affects the fetus?


By Anas al-Banna

Tuesday, November 07, 2023 at 11:00 p.m

Preeclampsia is a rare but serious condition that occurs during pregnancy or shortly after birth high blood pressure It leads to high amount of protein in the urine and affects many organs of the body, which can affect the health of the pregnant mother and the baby.

Approximately 85% of all cases of preeclampsia occur between 34 and 37 weeks of gestation. However, it can occur any time after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Most people learn of their diagnosis during a routine checkup with their health care provider. Know that those who receive an early diagnosis can begin treatment sooner and have a successful, healthy pregnancy .

According to the website HealthPreeclampsia accounts for 2% to 8% of all pregnancy-related complications. Left untreated, the condition can cause severe preeclampsia or symptoms of preeclampsia that can lead to serious health outcomes such as premature birth or fetal loss. It is important to know the symptoms of the condition and when to seek care from a healthcare provider.

Symptoms of preeclampsia

Preeclampsia occurs when you have high blood pressure (hypertension) after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Symptoms usually appear between 34 and 37 weeks, but they can also start after delivery.

Healthcare providers define high blood pressure when a normal blood pressure level is less than 120/80 mmHg (mmHg):

A systolic blood pressure (top number) of 140 mmHg or higher

Diastolic blood pressure (the lowest number) is 90 mm Hg or more

Besides high blood pressure, other common symptoms of preeclampsia include:

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High levels of protein in the urine (urinuria)

Water retention

Swelling in your joints

Acute symptoms of preeclampsia

About 25% of preeclampsia cases can develop into severe preeclampsia. 2 In general, severe preeclampsia can develop rapidly over several days.

If your condition worsens, you may experience the following symptoms:

Severe hypertension: blood pressure greater than 160/110 mm Hg

Swelling: Sudden, severe swelling of the face, feet, ankles, or hands

Weight gain: Rapid weight gain (more than 5 pounds or 2.3 kilograms in a week)

Persistent headache: Severe headache that does not go away

Abdominal pain: Abdominal pain on right side, below ribs

Vision changes: seeing bright lights, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light

Respiratory problems: Shortness of breath

Chest Pain: Tightness or fullness in the chest, which often requires immediate medical attention

Mood changes: irritability, anger, or confusion

Symptoms of preeclampsia

If preeclampsia is not treated, your condition may develop into preeclampsia and increase your risk of developing the following complications:

Seizures, which can lead to coma

Organ damage or heart, kidney, liver or brain failure

Bleeding (heavy bleeding)

Stroke (blockage or blockage of blood flow to the brain due to bleeding)


How can the symptoms of preeclampsia affect the baby?

Although preeclampsia puts the baby at risk, most pregnant women give birth to healthy babies..

Babies born to pregnant parents with severe or untreated preeclampsia may develop respiratory (breathing or lung) problems shortly after birth. If this happens, a health care provider may monitor your baby until your baby is stable enough to go home..

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Risk factors for preeclampsia include:


Gestational diabetes, type 1 or type 2

Having a history of preeclampsia, miscarriage or stillbirth

Chronic high blood pressure


Being in your first pregnancy

Multiple pregnancy (or twins or triplets)

Using fertility treatments such as IVF (IVF) or assisted reproductive technology

Cigarette smoking

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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