By Dr. Shaivalini Kamarapu, Gynaecology
Hypertension is one of the most adverse health conditions of our times. It is estimated that approximately 20 % of world population suffers from hypertension (also referred to as High Blood Pressure).
Hypertension requires special care in certain situations. Pregnancy is one such situation. If you or any of your loved ones is pregnant, it is important to know the following:
Basic facts about hypertension during pregnancy…
1. Hypertension is one of the most common medical problems observed during pregnancy.
2. There are multiple classifications of Hypertension developed specifically during pregnancy.
3. The classifications are based on:
a. The timing of occurrence of hypertension: Whether it was present before pregnancy or whether it has occurred post 20 weeks of pregnancy.
b. Associated Complications: Whether any other organs have been damaged or if there are multiple disorders.
4. It is important to understand the different classifications for proper evaluation and treatment.
5. Any hypertension medicine you take during pregnancy should be only on the recommendation of your doctor.
Different types of Hypertension during pregnancy…
1. Chronic Hypertension: When high blood pressure was either present before pregnancy or was developed within 20 weeks of pregnancy.
2. Gestational Hypertension: When high blood pressure occurs post 20 weeks of pregnancy. Such cases are more susceptible to preeclampsia.
3. Preeclampsia: A condition that signifies high blood pressure (usually Gestational) with fluid retention leading to edema (swelling) and albuminuria (excess protein in the urine).
4. Preeclampsia superimposed on Chronic Hypertension: When preeclampsia occurs in women with Chronic Hypertension and in addition, the severity of high blood pressure worsens.
Conditions such as Preeclampsia and Preeclampsia superimposed on Chronic Hypertension, if left untreated can cause serious health implications or even fatality of the mother and the baby.