Dr. Ronen OB/GYN
OB/GYNs located in Houston, TX
Preeclampsia Q & A
Who is at risk of developing preeclampsia?
Women in their teens, those older than 40, or women who are pregnant for the first time are most likely to develop preeclampsia.
You can develop the condition even if you’ve always had normal blood pressure, but a history of high blood pressure increases your risk.
Other risk factors for preeclampsia include:
- An immediate family member who had the condition
- A history of obesity
- Pregnancy with multiples
- Certain conditions, including diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
The exact reason why some women develop preeclampsia is not fully understood. Genetics and insufficient blood flow to the uterus seem to play a role.
What are the signs of preeclampsia?
One of the first signs of preeclampsia is severe swelling in the feet and ankles. Regular urine screenings performed at your prenatal visits may reveal excess protein that indicates preeclampsia.
Other symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Severe headache
- Change in reflexes
- Excessive vomiting and nausea
- Reduced urine output, or none at all
- Rapid weight gain due to an increase in bodily fluid
- Vision changes
If you’re pregnant and experience any of these symptoms, contact us right away.
What is postpartum preeclampsia?
In rare cases, women develop preeclampsia after giving birth. You usually experience postpartum preeclampsia within 48 hours of giving birth, but it can happen up to six weeks after birth. This condition may result in seizures, strokes, and other complications.
What is the treatment for preeclampsia?
In mild cases of preeclampsia, you may undergo close monitoring and potential hospitalization. If you’re at least 37 weeks pregnant, Dr. Pinky Ronen or Dr. Itai Ronen may recommend induced labor.
The only cure for preeclampsia is immediate delivery of the baby. Even after delivery, the symptoms of preeclampsia can persist for up to six weeks.
In cases of severe preeclampsia, hospital admission is likely. You’ll receive medicines that help speed up your baby’s lung development as well as medications to control your blood pressure and prevent seizures.
In some cases, the best course of action is to deliver the baby prematurely. Babies of mothers with severe preeclampsia do better being delivered early rather than staying in the uterus.
If you think you’re at risk of preeclampsia or are suffering symptoms of the condition, call the office of Dr. Ronen OB/GYN or book an appointment online today.
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