Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition, caused when the blood pressure becomes higher than 140/90 mm Hg. Hypertension during pregnancy is a serious concern, it may sometimes cause severe health problems to both the baby and mother.
There are several possible causes for Hypertension during pregnancy which includes:
* Age (Above 40)
* Carrying more than one fetus
* Overweight or obese
* Smoking and drinking alcohol
* Failing to stay active
* First-time pregnancy
* A family history of pregnancy-related hypertension
Types of Hypertension during Pregnancy
Chronic Hypertension: Chronic Hypertension can be referred to as pre-existing high blood pressure of a woman before getting pregnant. This condition is treated with blood pressure medication. Hypertension that occurs before 20 weeks of pregnancy is also considered to be chronic hypertension.
Gestational Hypertension: This condition develops after 20th week of pregnancy and it usually resolves after delivery. The most common complication is induced labor and there is a higher chance of progressing it to preeclampsia if it is diagnosed before 30 weeks of pregnancy.
Preeclampsia Superimposed: Preeclampsia superimposed on chronic hypertension acutely worse the proteinuria, and causes sudden increase in blood pressure or elevated liver enzymes after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman with preexisting hypertension.
If hypertension continues after the 20th week of pregnancy, it may develop the following complications:
Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia also called pregnancy induced hypertension or toxemia, which may cause serious damage to your brain and kidney. Persistent headaches, protein in the urine, abnormal swelling in hands and feet are the symptoms of Preeclampsia.
HELLP Syndrome: HELLP stands for Hemolysis, Elevated liver enzymes, and Low Platelet count. This condition can severely damage the vital organ systems, in some cases premature delivery is required. The symptoms of HELLP include nausea, vomiting, upper abdominal pain and headache.
Hypertension during pregnancy also effect the growth rate of the baby and may result in low birth weight.
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