What is Preeclampsia?

A pregnancy problem known as preeclampsia is marked by elevated blood pressure and organ damage, most frequently to the liver and kidneys. It frequently manifests after the 20th week of pregnancy and has the potential to be a serious condition requiring medical intervention.

Types of Preeclampsia:

Preeclampsia can be categorized into several types based on its severity and onset:

  • Mild Preeclampsia: Elevated blood pressure and some organ involvement, but generally less severe symptoms.
  • Severe Preeclampsia: High blood pressure and significant organ dysfunction, such as impaired kidney or liver function.
  • Early-Onset Preeclampsia: Developing before 34 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Late-Onset Preeclampsia: Developing after 34 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Eclampsia: Seizures occurring in a woman with preeclampsia, requiring immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of Preeclampsia:

Preeclampsia symptoms can vary in intensity, but some common signs include:

  • High Blood Pressure: Blood pressure readings consistently above 140/90 mm Hg.
  • Swelling: Especially in the hands and face, often accompanied by sudden weight gain.
  • Proteinuria: Excessive protein in urine, indicating kidney damage.
  • Severe Headache: Unrelenting headache that doesn't respond to usual remedies.
  • Visual Disturbances: Blurred vision, sensitivity to light, or temporary loss of vision.
  • Upper Abdominal Pain: Typically under the ribs on the right side, often a sign of liver involvement.
  • Nausea or Vomiting: Especially if it's persistent and unrelated to other factors.

It's essential to recognize that while these symptoms can indicate preeclampsia, they can also be caused by other conditions. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's crucial to consult your healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and appropriate care.

Causes of Preeclampsia:

The exact cause of preeclampsia is not fully understood, but it's believed to involve a combination of genetic, vascular, and immune factors. Some potential contributing factors include:

Placental Development: Issues with the placenta's blood vessels and their ability to supply nutrients and oxygen to the fetus.

Blood Vessel Abnormalities: Preeclampsia may involve problems with the lining of blood vessels, affecting their ability to expand and contract properly.

Immune System Response: An abnormal immune response may play a role in damaging blood vessels and organs.

Genetic Factors: A family history of preeclampsia may increase the risk.

First Pregnancy: Preeclampsia is more common in first pregnancies.

Age: Women who are over 40 or under 20 are more at risk.

Medical Conditions: Chronic hypertension, Diabetes, kidney disease, and autoimmune disorders may increase the risk.

Diagnosing Preeclampsia:

Diagnosing preeclampsia involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests:

Blood Pressure Monitoring: Consistently elevated blood pressure readings.

Urine Tests: Presence of protein in the urine (proteinuria).

Blood Tests: Monitoring for abnormal liver and kidney function and platelet count.

Ultrasound: Assessing fetal growth, amniotic fluid levels, and placental health.

Doppler Flow Studies: Evaluating blood flow in the umbilical cord and other major fetal blood vessels.

Non-Stress Test: Monitoring fetal heart rate in response to movement.

Preeclampsia Risk Factors & Complications:

Risk Factors:

Several factors may increase the risk of developing preeclampsia:

First Pregnancy: Women pregnant for the first time have a higher risk.

Multiple Pregnancies: Twins, triplets, etc., increase the risk.

Family History: A family history of preeclampsia raises the risk.

Age: Women under 20 and over 40 are more vulnerable.

Chronic Hypertension: Pre-existing high blood pressure.

Diabetes: Both pre-existing diabetes and gestational diabetes.

Kidney Disease: Pre-existing kidney conditions.

Obesity: High body mass index (BMI).

Autoimmune Disorders: Conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.


Preeclampsia can lead to several complications:

Eclampsia: Seizures that can be life-threatening for both mother and baby.

HELLP Syndrome: A severe form of preeclampsia affecting the liver and blood clotting.

Placental Abruption: The placenta separating too soon from the uterine wall.

Intrauterine Growth Restriction: decreased blood supply, which causes poor fetal growth.

Preterm Birth: Preeclampsia may necessitate delivering the baby early.

Organ Damage: Liver, kidney, and Cardiovascular problems in severe cases.

Preeclampsia is a complex condition with potentially serious outcomes. Timely prenatal care and close monitoring are essential to manage the condition and ensure the mother and baby's well-being. If you have concerns about preeclampsia or its risk factors, discussing them with your healthcare provider is important.

Preeclampsia Treatment:

Treatment for preeclampsia is tailored to the severity of the condition and the stage of pregnancy. Key components include:

Delivery: If the pregnancy is 37 weeks or later, delivery may be suggested as the best course of action. An earlier delivery may be necessary in some serious circumstances.


    Blood pressure medications to control hypertension.

    Anticonvulsants such as magnesium sulfate prevent seizures in severe cases.

Hospitalization and Close Monitoring: Regular monitoring of blood pressure, urine tests, blood tests, and fetal monitoring.

Steroid Injections: To help the baby's lungs mature if early delivery is anticipated.

Bed Rest and Monitoring at Home: Rest and regular monitoring might be prescribed for mild cases.

Preeclampsia Dos and Don’ts:


    Follow Medical Recommendations: Take prescribed medications, attend follow-up appointments, and adhere to dietary and lifestyle suggestions.

    Monitor Blood Pressure Regularly: Keep track at home if advised.

    Report Symptoms Promptly: Alert your healthcare provider to any new or worsening symptoms.

    Rest and Stay Hydrated: Follow recommendations for rest and hydration.


    Ignore Medical Advice: This can lead to serious complications.

    Engage in Stressful Activities: Avoid activities that may elevate blood pressure.

    Use Alcohol, Tobacco, or Illicit Drugs: These substances can exacerbate the condition.

    Take Over-the-Counter Medications Without Consultation: They may interact with prescribed medications or worsen the condition.

Care at Medicover Hospitals

In conclusion, Medicover Hospitals' expertise in preeclampsia treatment stems from a synergy between specialized medical professionals, advanced diagnostic tools, personalized care plans, comprehensive monitoring, collaboration, Gynecological facilities, and a commitment to patient empowerment. Patients who entrust their care to Medicover Hospitals can have confidence that they are receiving world-class treatment tailored to their unique needs, ensuring the best possible outcomes for both mother and baby.

Frequently Asked Questions

>What is preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a dangerous pregnancy condition marked by hypertension, or elevated blood pressure, and damage to vital organs such the kidneys and liver. It usually happens after the 20th week of pregnancy and has an impact on the mother as well as the growing child.

>What causes preeclampsia?

Although the precise origin of preeclampsia is unknown, placental issues are thought to be involved. Factors that may increase the risk of preeclampsia include a history of preeclampsia, first pregnancy, obesity, certain medical conditions, and carrying multiple fetuses.

>What are the common symptoms of preeclampsia?

High blood pressure, facial and hand edema, rapid weight gain, excruciating headaches, vision abnormalities (such as spots or blurriness), and stomach pain—usually in the upper right side—are typical symptoms.

>How is preeclampsia diagnosed?

Preeclampsia is diagnosed through a combination of blood pressure measurements and laboratory tests to assess organ function, such as liver and kidney function. Monitoring for symptoms and signs is also crucial.

>What are the risks associated with preeclampsia?

Complications may arise from preeclampsia for both the mother and the child. It may result in seizures (eclampsia), organ damage, stroke, placental abruption, preterm birth, low birth weight, and even fetal or maternal death if left untreated.

>How is preeclampsia treated?

The primary treatment for preeclampsia is delivering the baby, as the only cure for preeclampsia is the removal of the placenta. However, depending on the severity of the condition and the gestational age of the baby, healthcare providers may recommend bed rest, medications to lower blood pressure, and close monitoring.

>Can preeclampsia be prevented?

While preeclampsia cannot always be prevented, maintaining good prenatal care, attending regular check-ups, and following your healthcare provider's advice can help identify and manage risk factors. Early detection and management can also reduce the severity of the condition

>Is preeclampsia the same as gestational hypertension?

No, preeclampsia is not the same as gestational hypertension. Gestational hypertension is the term for high blood pressure that occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy but does not accompany any other signs of organ damage or dysfunction.Preeclampsia involves high blood pressure and organ damage.