Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Preeclampsia

I chatted with a Pinay friend last night who lives in New Mexico and asked how she was doing since she is now on her 9 months of pregnancy. He due date is supposed to be on Nov 26th but she said that her doctor recommended to have her deliver next week by induce labor because she is having preeclampsia and the reason was that her protein in her urine is above the normal level. I thought that preeclampsia occurs only when a pregnant woman's blood pressure goes high but when I searched about it there's more information that a pregnant woman should know.

Here's what I found according to www.preeclampsia.org:

Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are important symptoms; however, some women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms.

Typically, preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks gestation (in the late 2nd or 3rd trimesters or middle to late pregnancy), though it can occur earlier. Proper prenatal care is essential to diagnose and manage preeclampsia. Preeclampsia, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) and toxemia are closely related conditions. HELLP Syndrome and eclampsia are other manifestations of the same syndrome. It is important to note that research shows that more women die from preeclampsia than eclampsia and one is not necessarily more serious than the other.

Globally, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year.


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