Hypertension and Pregnancy: Know the Facts!

Hypertension and Pregnancy: Know the Facts!


By Dr. Smriti Uppal, Gynaecology

Blood pressure can be defined as how hard the blood pushes itself against the walls of the artery when the heart beats. A considerable amount of pressure is required for the circulation of blood throughout the body, but an excess can really cause complications. A blood pressure count above the reading of 140/90 (mmHg) can be termed as High Blood Pressure or Hypertension. High blood pressure can have symptoms such as severe headaches and anxiety, short breaths and nose-bleeds. Any kind of hyper-tension (whether before or after your conception) can prove to be detrimental for your baby.

How does Hypertension affect pregnancy?

  1. Preeclampsia: Wherein the high blood pressure develops after the 20th week of pregnancy accompanied by presence of protein in urine and disruption in the function of certain organs.
  2. Chances of conceiving a baby of abnormally small size also increase.
  3. Chances of a Caesarian surgery also go up.
  4. Placental abruption wherein the placenta separates itself from the walls of the uterus much before the birth of the baby.
  5. Preterm Delivery.
  6. Preeclampsia aggravates risks of heart diseases and other cardio-vascular disorders.
  7. Decreased blood flow to the placenta (the organ that nourishes the baby) that cuts sufficient oxygen and nutrients supply to the baby.

Signs and Symptoms-

  1. Severe persistent headache.
  2. Abnormal swelling.
  3. Vision problems such as blurriness, double vision, temporary vision loss or extreme sensitivity to light.
  4. Tenderness or intense pain in the upper part of the abdomen.
  5. Vomiting or a feeling of nausea.
  6. Decreased urination.
  7. Impaired functioning of the liver.
  8. Presence of protein in urine.

Medications and Treatment-

Medications can actually affect pregnancy but few are considered safe in lowering your blood pressure such as renin inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Do consult your physician and get the dosage prescribed accurately.