Hypertensive Problems In Pregnancy!

Hypertensive Problems In Pregnancy!


By Dr. Shanujeet Kaur, Gynaecology

One of the most common conditions that women develop while pregnancy is hypertension. Research reveals that hypertensive disorders affect about 2% to 3% of women during pregnancy.

Hypertensive disorders that affect pregnant women have been characterized into 4 types-

1. Chronic Hypertension- This category of hypertension, in general, precedes a pregnancy. Most of the times it gets diagnosed in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Chronic hypertension can either be mild or severe and is said to complicate about 5% of pregnancies in general. Medication for chronic hypertension should be immediately started, as it can create complications like premature birth, caesarean delivery and even death of the foetus.

2. Pre-Eclampsia- The onset of Pre-eclampsia generally starts after 20 weeks of gestation. Eclampsia which is the development of sudden convulsions may affect patients who suffer from Pre-eclampsia. Certain factors that lead to the onset of Pre-eclampsia are –

  1. Chronic hypertension
  2. Chronic renal disease
  3. High body mass index
  4. Multiple gestations
  5. Preeclampsia is a prior pregnancy

3. Pre-Eclampsia Superimposed on Chronic Hypertension- Women with chronic hypertension also have a risk of developing superimposed Pre-eclampsia. Thus, patients with chronic hypertension during pregnancy should be carefully treated to avoid complications. In severe cases of chronic hypertension with superimposed pre-eclampsia, there are chances of both the mother and child losing their lives.

4. Gestational Hypertension- This category of hypertensive disorders is also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). It generally affects an expecting female after 20 weeks of gestation. A patient may be diagnosed with PIH if she has -

  • High blood pressure
  • A record of normal blood pressure on previous occasions
  • Lack of protein in the urine
  • No onset of Pre-eclampsia

Hypertensive disorders during pregnancy should be carefully treated as they can cause severe complications as compared to pregnant women with normal blood pressure.