Skip to main content
A male OB checks a female pregnant patient's blood pressure.

What is Preeclampsia?

What is Preeclampsia?

If you're currently pregnant or planning to be, chances are you've heard of preeclampsia. It is a disorder that effects roughly five percent of all pregnancies. Preeclampsia during pregnancy is the most common complication that women experience. Due to this fact, it's important to get a better idea of what this disorder is all about.

Plenty of women diagnosed with preeclampsia go on to have completely healthy pregnancies and babies. Keep reading to learn about preeclampsia during pregnancy and how you can best deal with this complication if you have to.

What is Preeclampsia in Pregnancy?

Starting with the basics, preeclampsia is a condition that only occurs during and after pregnancy. It consists of high blood pressure, which relates directly to veins and arteries. Preeclampsia also causes damage to other organs, with the liver and kidneys being the most common. Normally, this condition starts at the 20-week mark and can have effects even after your baby is born.

Unfortunately, there isn't a clear answer on the exact cause for preeclampsia during pregnancy. There is evidence to suggest that the condition has to do with the placenta and how proteins are created to support your baby. This leads to the obvious question: how is it cured? The best treatment for the condition is to deliver your baby and the removal of the placenta.

Important Preeclampsia Facts

Now that you have an answer to what preeclampsia is during pregnancy, it's time to address some important information. Like many other conditions, preeclampsia can become much more harmful if it's not controlled or managed. This makes your regular doctor's appointments even more important. Be sure to visit your doctor as much as they recommend.

Your doctor can tell a lot about how preeclampsia during pregnancy is affecting your overall health by checking your blood pressure, urine and blood work. It's a good reminder to speak with your doctor right away if you feel anything unusual during your pregnancy. Not all cases of preeclampsia can be preventable, but keeping healthy habits can lower your risk.

Preeclampsia Symptoms

The best way to detect preeclampsia during pregnancy is by having regular doctor visits. As you gather information, here is a list of the most common preeclampsia symptoms:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Protein found in your urine
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Change in vision and headaches
  • Difficulty taking a deep breath

If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor right away. Preeclampsia in pregnancy can also cause symptoms after delivery, so be vigilant of any symptoms and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions. While preeclampsia during pregnancy can be scary, your doctor is there to help support you.

So, what does this mean for you? If you're currently pregnant and following your regular doctor's appointments, you can rest assured that the condition will be closely monitored, and you’ll be well taken care of. If you're thinking about becoming pregnant, being at a healthy weight before conceiving can help lower your risk.

Schedule an Appointment at King’s Daughters’ Health Today

Preeclampsia is a serious condition that can affect a pregnancy both before and after your baby is born. Our staff at King's Daughters’ Health can provide you with expert care and support during your pregnancy. Contact us today to learn more about our OB-GYN team and the maternity care services we provide.

CALL TODAY: 812-801-0856

Subscribe to This Week in Health to get the latest health news delivered to your inbox.