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Preeclampsia is a potentially dangerous material complication during pregnancy. It is characterized by swelling, protein in the urine, and high blood pressure. It usually occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Preeclampsia affects about five percent of pregnancies in the US. Preeclampsia can be fatal without treatment.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican obstetricians have expertise in treating high-risk pregnancy conditions, including preeclampsia, in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV. Find a Doctor online or call (702) 616-4900. We also offer a range of prenatal, pregnancy, and childbirth classes to help you welcome your newest family member. Sign up today.
The exact cause of preeclampsia is not clear. But, there are many known risk factors, including:
Signs of preeclampsia include:
Preeclampsia can’t always be prevented, but it’s important to know your risk factors and to try to control them. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, for example, start by following your treatment plan before and during pregnancy.
Because women without any risk factors can develop preeclampsia, health care providers carefully monitor the urine and blood pressure of all pregnant women. Birth is the only cure for preeclampsia.
Often, doctors weigh the risks of early delivery against the risks of continuing the pregnancy. Your doctor will probably recommend inducing labor and birth if you develop symptoms of preeclampsia at or after 37 weeks of pregnancy. The symptoms of preeclampsia go away within six weeks of giving birth. If you are not yet to 37 weeks of pregnancy, your doctor will likely try to give the baby extra time to develop in the womb.
For mild preeclampsia, health care providers monitor the mother’s health more frequently than usual for signs of decline. Women with moderate to severe preeclampsia are admitted to the hospital for around-the-clock monitoring. Preeclampsia treatment may include steroid injections to speed up the baby’s lung development, medication to prevent seizures and control blood pressure, and intravenous fluids. If the mother’s health is at risk, the doctor will recommend immediate delivery, even if the baby is premature.