Today is world Preeclemsia day and the condition still debilitates 2 of every expecting 100 women Preeclemsia is a medical condition that affects pregnant women with high blood pressure and protein in urine during or even after delivery. The disease also causes complications with low clotting factors caused by a drop in platelet count in blood and also affects Kidneys and liver.
The month of May is known as Preeclampsia month in the medical community and 22 of May is particularly observed to spread awareness of the disease. The condition is often referred to as the toxaemia of pregnancy. The disease may prove fatal to both mother and the foetus if proper care is not administered.
The three trimesters of human pregnancy passes through various challenges to the expecting mom. In India, the rate of women affected with preeclampsia is high, up to 8 to 10 percent are affected. This is due to the lack of awareness of the condition in Indian women.
Preeclampsia generally happens after the 20th week of pregnancy. However, in some cases, it occurs earlier, or after delivery. The actual causes of preeclampsia are still unknown but doctors have sorted out some common factors studying thousands of patients, and they are
- Genetic factors
- Autoimmune disorders
- Unhealthy blood vessels
To be moms must periodically monitor their blood pressure levels as a high blood pressure arises many complexities in pregnancy. Preeclampsia if unchecked may develop to a more severe form eclempsia which may cause nasty seizures resulting in an emergency. There are also risk factors that can increase your chances of developing preeclampsia. These include:
- being over the age of 35
- being obese
- being in your early teens
- being pregnant with multiple foetuses
- having a history of high blood pressure
- having a history of diabetes
- having a history of a kidney disorder
Preeclampsia affects the Umbilical cord vein and artery which carries oxygenated blood to the foetus and carry deoxygenated blood to the placenta.This hinders the development of foetus resulting in premature delivery.If left untreated it may also lead to HELLP Syndrome.
Main symptoms of Preeclampsia:
- Swelled face and arms
- Acute headache
- A sudden increase in weight
- Change in the appearance of the navel
- Pain in the upper abdomen
The doctor usually diagnoses Preeclempia checking your blood pressure. The blood pressure should be between 140/90 mm Hg for pregnant mothers. Urine is checked in a lab for liver enzymes and platelet count. A non-stress test is then conducted to evaluate the health of the foetus. In this test, the heart rate of the foetus is checked as it moves inside mothers womb. An ultrasound scan is also suggested to get details of amniotic fluid level and pressure for preeclampsia diagnosis.
The treatment is to speed up the delivery of the baby. If the mother reaches the 37 th week of her pregnancy a normal pregnancy is induced. The baby is fully developed at 37 th week and the delivery process is usually not complicated. But if the baby has not reached 37 th week the gynaecologist has to make tough decisions to save mothers life and aborting the pregnancy is often recommended. However various factors like the health of the foetus, the severity of preeclampsia and the baby’s gestational age are considered before the final decision.