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High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

High blood pressure is when the force of your blood against the walls of arteries is too high. Doctors may refer to it as hypertension. Usually, pregnancy and hypertension are not considered to be deadly together. Most women experience high BP symptoms during pregnancy. Though, it can give rise to various complications if not managed well. Normal blood pressure during pregnancy is nearly 120/80 mm Hg.

In this article, you will learn about the causes, symptoms, effects (complications), prevention, and medicines of high blood pressure in pregnancy.

Causes of Hypertension in Pregnancy

Hypertension in pregnancy is a common problem. Many factors lead to high blood pressure in women. These may include:

●     Smoking

●     Alcohol consumption

●     First pregnancy

●     Being overweight

●     Indulging in less physical activities or exercises

●     A family history of high BP in pregnancy

●     Being aged above 35 years

●     Having an autoimmune disease

●     Having diabetes

●     Carrying twins or triplets

●     Using in-vitro fertilization

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure symptoms are different for all. It is even asymptomatic for some women during pregnancy. Here is a list of some standard signs one must look out for.

●     Difficulty in breathing

●     Blurred vision

●     Swelling in hands or face

●     Pain in the upper abdomen

●     Headache

●     Nausea

●     Fatigue

●     Proteinuria (excess protein in urine)

Effects of Hypertension on the Mother & Baby

High blood pressure during pregnancy can cause many complications and effects on both the mother and child. These may include:

●     HELLP Syndrome: HELLP means hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count. It is a disease that involves all three. It may show signs like nausea, vomiting, headache, and upper abdominal pain.

●     Placental Abruption: It is a condition in which the placenta gets detached from the inner wall of the uterus. In most cases of placental abruption, early delivery is required. This is because it can otherwise lead to a lack of oxygen and nutrients for the baby.

●     Intrauterine Growth Restriction: This is a condition in which the child in the womb doesn’t grow as expected. Intrauterine growth restriction may have symptoms like thin or pale skin, the baby is malnourished, etc.

●     Injury to other Organs: When you have a high BP during pregnancy, other organs may get affected too. These usually include the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, or eyes. Though, this depends upon the severity of hypertension.

●     Future Cardiovascular Disorder: Experts link high blood pressure to the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It’s because hypertension can damage the arteries and affect blood flow.

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