Knowing the causes and symptoms of preeclampsia can reduce the risks that are harmful to the mother and fetus. Preeclampsia usually occurs at more than 20 weeks of gestation.
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy disorder characterized by high blood pressure and high protein content in the urine. This condition can harm other organs, such as the kidneys and liver.
If not treated, preeclampsia can become eclampsia. Eclampsia is a condition of preeclampsia accompanied by seizures. This can be fatal for both mother and fetus, and can even cause death. In infants, preeclampsia can result in premature birth and stunted fetal growth. Therefore it is important for pregnant women to know the symptoms, causes, and how to prevent and treat preeclampsia.
Causes of preeclampsia
The placenta is one of the important organs that functions to channel blood from the mother to the baby in the womb. The emergence of preeclampsia is thought to be due to developmental disorders in the placenta, which are caused by problems with the blood vessels supplying the placenta.
Genetic factors or family history of preeclampsia are also thought to play a role in the mechanism of this disease. However, the exact cause of this condition is not yet fully understood.
Under normal circumstances, the placenta receives a large and constant supply of blood to support the baby’s development. But in the condition of preeclampsia, the placenta is thought to not get enough blood. This results in impaired blood supply to the baby. Various signals and substances from the disturbed placenta cause the mother’s blood pressure to rise.
Other factors that might influence the emergence of preeclampsia include:
- First pregnancy
- Have experienced preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy
- Have other medical problems, namely high blood pressure, diabetes, and lupus
- Age more than 40 years
- The distance of the pregnancy is more than 10 years from the previous pregnancy
- Obesity in early pregnancy
- Twin or more pregnant
Symptoms of preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is sometimes not accompanied by certain symptoms, so pregnant women need to do regular pregnancy checks and check blood pressure. High blood pressure can be an early symptom of preeclampsia. Beware if blood pressure reaches 140/90 mmHg or more.
Other symptoms that may appear can be severe headaches, impaired vision, light, shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting. In addition, pain can appear on the upper abdomen, precisely under the right ribs.
How to Overcome Preeclampsia
If a pregnant woman is detected as having preeclampsia, the doctor will perform a pregnancy checkup more often than the usual routine examination. The doctor will also do several tests to determine the condition of the baby in the womb.
The management of preeclampsia is primarily labor. If the age of the womb is not too young, usually the doctor will advise to make the birth process faster so as not to endanger the condition of the mother and baby in the womb.
However, if the womb is still too young and preeclampsia has been detected early, the doctor will do several things to overcome it. The following are some ways that can be done to overcome preeclampsia.
Reducing blood pressure
Providing anti-seizure medication
Suggest corticosteroid administration
In the condition of preeclampsia, blood pressure will be high, so that treatment is needed that can reduce blood pressure or called antihypertension. Not all antihypertensive drugs are safe for pregnant women. So before taking the drug, discuss it with your doctor first.
Magnesium sulfate is often used to treat and prevent seizures. The doctor will give this medicine if preeclampsia is classified as severe.
Corticosteroids are usually given if pregnant women experience the condition of preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet levels). Corticosteroids can improve platelet and liver function to prevent labor from being delivered too early. In addition, corticosteroids can also help ripen the lungs of babies so that if they have to be born prematurely, the baby can breathe properly.
If the preeclampsia experienced by a pregnant woman is classified as severe, it is likely that the doctor will request an inpatient treatment so that the doctor can easily control the condition of the pregnant woman, the baby in the womb, and the amniotic fluid or amniotic fluid. This lack of fluid is a sign of problems with the baby’s blood supply.
It is important for a pregnant woman to carry out routine pregnancy check-ups. Her goal is to be able to continue to monitor the condition of her and her baby’s health so that pregnancy disorders such as preeclampsia can be overcome early on.