By Dr. Preeti Kale, 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?
- 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.
- Chances of conceiving a baby of abnormally small size also increase.
- Chances of a Caesarian surgery also go up.
- Placental abruption wherein the placenta separates itself from the walls of the uterus much before the birth of the baby.
- Preterm Delivery.
- Preeclampsia aggravates risks of heart diseases and other cardio-vascular disorders.
- 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-
- Severe persistent headache.
- Abnormal swelling.
- Vision problems such as blurriness, double vision, temporary vision loss or extreme sensitivity to light.
- Tenderness or intense pain in the upper part of the abdomen.
- Vomiting or a feeling of nausea.
- Decreased urination.
- Impaired functioning of the liver.
- 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.