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Preeclampsia

Desert Perinatal Associates

Perinatologists located in Las Vegas, NV & Henderson, NV

Three in every 20 premature births in the United States are caused by preeclampsia, a dangerous condition for pregnant women. Marked by sudden high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine, preeclampsia needs to be managed by experts, such as the team of doctors at Desert Perinatal Associates in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. To learn more about preeclampsia and high-risk pregnancy, call one of the offices.

Preeclampsia Q & A

What is preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia used to be called toxemia. It’s a high blood pressure condition that some pregnant women develop after week 20 of pregnancy or after they’ve given birth. Preeclampsia can turn into eclampsia, which is a serious condition that puts the life of the mother and baby at risk.

Most women with preeclampsia go on to have healthy babies, but treatment is required.

What puts you at risk of developing preeclampsia?

Women pregnant for the first time, teens, and women over 40 are most likely to develop preeclampsia. Although women who’ve never had high blood pressure often develop the condition, the risk factors include:

  • A history of high blood pressure
  • A woman in the family with a history of preeclampsia, such as a mother or sister
  • History of obesity
  • Pregnancy with multiples
  • History of certain conditions, such as diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or kidney disease

The exact cause of preeclampsia is not known, but it may have to do with poor nutrition, insufficient blood flow to the uterus, or genetics.

What are the signs of preeclampsia?

You may experience swelling in your feet and ankles. Plus excess protein is detected in your urine during a screening at the office of Desert Perinatal Associates. You may also have some of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe headache
  • Change in reflexes
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive vomiting and nausea
  • Reduced urine output, or none at all
  • Rapid weight gain due to an increase in bodily fluid
  • Changes in your vision

If you’re pregnant and experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.

How is preeclampsia treated?

The only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby. You may continue to have signs and symptoms of preeclampsia for up to six weeks after having the baby, too.

Mild preeclampsia requires close monitoring and potentially hospitalization. You’ll be asked to check how often your baby moves, too. If you’re at least 37 weeks pregnant, the doctors may recommend you have your baby early with induced labor.

If you have severe preeclampsia, you’ll probably be admitted to the hospital. You’ll get special medicines that help speed up your baby’s lung development, as well as medications that control your blood pressure and others to control seizures. In some cases, it’s safest to give birth to your baby early. Often, babies of mothers with severe preeclampsia do better being delivered early rather than staying in the womb.

To learn more about preeclampsia, call the office.