By Dr. Pooja Mehta, Gynaecology
Hypertension is a potentially fatal complication for pregnant women. It is caused by high blood pressure. Hypertension, besides the high levels of blood pressure, includes symptoms such as swollen feet and hands, and protein found in urine.
If blood pressure is high during pregnancy, it puts excessive stress on the kidneys and heart, which increases the risk of kidney and heart diseases. Some other complications include-
1. The growth of the foetus is restricted.
2. Preeclampsia is likely to occur. It is a severe blood pressure disorder that harms every organ in the body.
3. The delivery can occur before the term is finished.
4. The placenta can detach from the uterine wall.
5. Caesarean delivery can occur which increases the risk of internal organ injury, bleeding and infection.
The doctor will diagnose hypertension in two ways:
1. Your blood pressure will be measured to check how high it is
2. Next, your urine will be checked for proteinuria (the existence of unusual levels of protein in your urine)
Hypertension in pregnancy is manageable. Your blood pressure will be acutely monitored and you will have regular ultrasound exams to check the growth of the foetus. If the ultrasound image displays any anomaly, you might have to undergo additional tests and take medicines.
If your hypertension is mild, no other medication is required. But if it is serious, you may have to start or keep taking medication throughout your pregnancy.