In this article you will learn the following
In pregnancy you make yourself many thoughts about possible risks and illnesses. High blood pressure is also one of them.
But what are the actual effects when blood pressure rises and when should you do something about it?
How do I notice high blood pressure during pregnancy?
High blood pressure during pregnancy is also referred to as pregnancy hypertension.
The blood pressure rises to such an extent that the body and the fetus could be damaged. About 10% of pregnant women suffer from this condition. If you only look at the first-time mothers, the figure is even 15%. The disease only occurs during pregnancy and heals on its own after childbirth.
In the course of the check-ups, which are specified in the maternity card, the blood pressure is checked routinely. So you can react quickly in case of doubt. Under normal circumstances, you don't even notice high blood pressure. Symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, nosebleeds or nausea can only become noticeable when the values rise very high.
How high can the blood pressure be in pregnant women?
< p>One speaks of elevated blood pressure during pregnancy when the values exceed a limit of 140/90 mmHg. In addition, a one-time measurement is not sufficient, but the values must be increased several times. Values below this are to be classified as normal and do not indicate hypertension.
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How dangerous is high blood pressure during pregnancy?
High blood pressure during pregnancy can reach dangerous proportions. This is because hypertension can develop into pre-eclampsia or even eclampsia. Besides high blood pressure, typical signs of such a disease are edema and protein excretion in the urine. Especially if the symptoms occur together, you should consult a doctor immediately.
Symptoms in the course of preeclampsia are primarily headaches, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, blurred vision and sensitivity to light. In general, preeclampsia is accompanied by narrowing of the blood vessels, which means that oxygen saturation is no longer sufficiently guaranteed. The body begins to respond with inflammation. In addition, coagulation processes are activated and damage to the inner vascular layer and a reduction in vascular elasticity can occur. This in turn affects kidney function and leads to increased protein excretion. Other organs can also be affected.
This also applies to the placenta.
In general, preeclampsia is one of the most dangerous pregnancy complications. If diagnosed early, the chances of recovery are very good. In severe cases, the disease can lead to death.
Incidentally, in severe cases, preeclampsia can also lead to eclampsia. So-called tonic-clonic seizures can occur, which can lead to unconsciousness. Organs can be damaged and liver enzymes can rise abnormally. Retinal hemorrhage or thrombocytopenia may occur.
A placenta insufficiency can also develop. Acute kidney failure or the so-called HELLP syndrome can also occur. The vital signs of the mother are severely endangered. In these cases, you must be monitored in intensive care and, if necessary, expect a premature delivery.
High blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous for both the mother and the unborn child. Many newborns suffer from low birth weight. The disease can also cause premature birth. In the case of placental insufficiency, there is a risk of a lack of supply to the fetus, which can later result in both development and growth disorders.
How can you lower blood pressure?
First, doctors will try to eliminate hypertension in alternative ways and choose gentle methods. This may include restricting activities and taking steps to reduce stress. In general, you should avoid physical stress and exertion. In some cases, the doctor can also order bed rest. Blood pressure is closely monitored. It goes without saying that we abstain from alcohol and cigarettes. There are basically no restrictions on nutrition.
If there is a particularly severe case of high blood pressure during pregnancy, then drug treatment is required. Traditionally, drugs such as a-methyldopa or presinol are administered here. An emergency is classified at values of 170/110 mmHg and above. As a pregnant woman, you need to check your blood pressure regularly. You may be admitted to the hospital and monitored.
In addition, close monitoring of the growth of the fetus by the attending gynaecologist must be initiated, as well as regular monitoring of blood pressure during pregnancy. If in doubt, the birth of the child should be initiated earlier.
Risk and prevention
There are several risk factors that increase the likelihood of preeclampsia. These include above all obesity, diabetes mellitus, a family history as well as acute kidney disease and a first pregnancy. The risk of preeclampsia also increases with age. If preeclampsia has already occurred in a previous pregnancy, the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy is additionally increased.
There is also an increased risk in the case of chronic hypertension, an autoimmune disease, thrombophilia, gestational diabetes or a multiple pregnancy. Above all, pre-existing high blood pressure brings with it the risk of graft gestosis. This increases the risk of perinatal mortality or morbidity.
The best prevention is regular blood pressure monitoring. During routine pregnancy tests, both blood pressure and urine are checked. Close monitoring by the attending physician is important. It also helps if you allow yourself as much rest as possible and try to avoid stress and not overexert yourself physically.
You should check your blood pressure regularly during pregnancy Have intervals checked and consult a doctor at the first signs and warning signals from your body. If treated early, hypertension or preeclampsia can be controlled very well. This is important so that your child does not suffer any consequential damage from high blood pressure during pregnancy and your health is not affected.