Preeclampsia appears in the second half of pregnancy and disappears with birth.
Preeclampsia is a problem that occurs in some women during pregnancy. It can occur in the second half of pregnancy.
Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious, potentially fatal complications for both the mother and the fetus:
- Restriction of blood flow to the placenta - Preeclampsia affects the arteries that carry blood to the placenta. Restricting blood flow slows down the growth and development of the fetus, leads to a risk of premature birth and endangers the survival of the newborn.
- Placental abruption - separation of the placenta from the uterus. Massive abruption causes severe bleeding, which is life-threatening for the mother and fetus.
- Eclampsia - Eclampsia includes symptoms of preeclampsia, plus seizures. Eclampsia can permanently affect the mother's internal organs and brain. It increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in her after birth.
- HELLP syndrome - involves the destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis), an increase in liver enzymes and a decrease in platelets in the blood. The syndrome is especially dangerous because it can occur before the symptoms of preeclampsia appear.
What are the predisposing factors?
There are many factors that experts consider predisposing to preeclampsia:
- Age. Women under the age of 20 and over are at the highest risk of developing preeclampsia.
- Sequence of pregnancy. A higher incidence of preeclampsia was found in the first pregnancy.
- Body weight. High body weight in early pregnancy, combined with high blood pressure, increases the likelihood of developing the disease several times.
- Genetic predisposition. The risk of a family history of preeclampsia in the mother or sister of a pregnant woman is also increased.
- The presence of concomitant diseases such as diabetes, thrombophilia, hypo- and hyperthyroidism create a favorable terrain for damage to the body.
The only treatment is the birth of a baby. In the presence of preeclampsia, the mother and baby are closely monitored. This means that blood pressure should be monitored twice a day. Frequent monitoring for the presence of protein in the urine, weight change and symptoms is mandatory. There are medications and treatments that can prolong the pregnancy, which can increase the baby's chances of health and survival.