Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication which usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The exact causes of preeclampsia have not yet been adequately explained. It is suspected that a problem during the development of the placenta causes the blood vessels to constrict and cause high blood pressure. This might cause damage to another organs, most common the kidneys amd the liver. Pre-eclampsia also affects women whose blood pressure had been normal.
The first signs of pre-eclampsia are high blood pressure, fluid retention (oedema) whith sudden swelling of the feet, ankles, face and hands.and protein in the urine (proteinuria).
If pre-eclampsia is not treated, it can lead to serious complications and in one to 2 in every 100 cases it can even be life threatening. Pre-eclamsia causes growth problems in the unborn baby. This is caused by poor blood supply through the placenta to the baby.
If you notice any symptoms of pre-eclampsia, immediately seek medical advice. The earlier pre-eclampsia is diagnosed and monitored on a regular basis, the better is the outlook for mother and unborn baby.
Without immediate treatment, pre-eclampsia may lead to a number of serious complications, including:
• feeling generally unwell
• pain in the upper abdomen severe headaches
• shortness of breath
• vision problems, such as blurring or seeing flashing lights
• nausea and vomiting
• excessive weight gain due to fluid retention
• less urine