What is Pregnancy Poisoning or Pre-eclampsia? - Dr. Senai Aksoy

What is Pregnancy Poisoning or Pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia, also known as pregnancy poisoning, are mentioned in the case of high blood pressure (140/90 mmHg and above) and albumin in the urine in the expectant mother. This condition is almost always accompanied by oedema of the face, ankles, and hands.

When Does Pregnancy Poisoning Happen?

Pregnancy poisoning occurs after the fifth month of pregnancy. Pregnancy poisoning occurs as soon as the placenta is formed, even though there are no symptoms.

What Causes Pregnancy Poisoning?

It is thought that some harmful substances secreted from the placenta and negatively affecting the vessels cause this condition.

What Does Pregnancy Poisoning Cause?

The mother’s kidneys, liver, lungs, and nerves can be affected during pregnancy poisoning. Since the circulation between the placenta and the baby is also affected, the occurrence of low birth weight in the baby is also common. The results in the pregnant mother are directly proportional to the degree of blood pressure.

Suppose hypertension in its mild forms is detected early and treated with lifestyle changes and medication. In that case, the mother and the baby can reach the expected delivery time without problems.

In severe cases, it is necessary to terminate the pregnancy early. Otherwise, the pregnancy will end in two ways:

  1. Eclampsia Seizure: During the eclampsia seizure, the expectant mother has a seizure in the form of epilepsy due to brain oedema. If this condition is not treated quickly, permanent brain damage occurs.
  2. Retroplacental Hematoma: It separates the placenta from the uterine wall in a certain area due to high blood pressure and the accumulation of blood there. In this case, as the blood flow to the baby will stop completely, infant death will occur quickly. This has vital consequences for maternal health. Since the body will send all the coagulation factors to this region, uncontrollable bleeding will occur due to the lack of coagulation factor in the body after a while.

What Are The Symptoms of Pre-eclampsia?

Some symptoms appear gradually, while others appear suddenly. While the expectant mother’s hands, legs, and face swell, there is a sudden weight gain (for example, 1 kg in 2 days).

Headache, a feeling of heaviness, sensitivity to light and blurred vision are common symptoms. When looking at blood pressure, it is seen that the value rises to 140/90 and above. In the urine test, protein is observed in the urine. When these symptoms occur, it is necessary to immediately hospitalize the expectant mother to monitor the health status of the mother and baby.

Which Women Are at Risk?

Many factors have been suggested as the cause of pre-eclampsia. Some of these are related to pre-pregnancy diseases of the expectant mother, such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Others are related to the expectant mother’s age and the type of pregnancy.

Indeed, pre-eclampsia is more common in twin pregnancies, over the age of 40 and under the age of 18. It also occurs more often in first pregnancies.

Researchers are conducting numerous studies to reveal the genetic factors of the disease. In addition, studies on tests to be used in the early diagnosis of the disease continue.

How is Pre-eclampsia Treated?

Hospitalization of the expectant mother and bed rest are the most important stages of treatment. The blood pressure of the expectant mother is monitored. Extensive blood and urine analysis are performed, and blood pressure medication is started to prevent complications.

The baby’s health and weight are followed by ultrasound. The amount of fluid in the baby, its development, and the condition of the placenta are taken into account. By measuring the blood velocity in the cord with Doppler, it is determined that the placenta gives enough blood for the baby. The baby’s heartbeat is monitored with a monitor many times a day.

If it is noticed during these tests that uncontrollable blood pressure or the baby’s life is in danger, the pregnancy should be terminated. This sometimes leads to the necessity of preterm delivery because the baby’s chance of survival in the intensive care unit will be much higher than in the womb.

What is The Risk in Postpartum and Subsequent Pregnancies?

All symptoms disappear within a few days to a few weeks after birth. However, since eclampsia may develop within 48 hours of birth, the mother must be under control.

Pre-eclampsia usually does not occur in subsequent pregnancies. Because pre-eclampsia occurs mostly in first pregnancies. Low-dose aspirin is used after the fourth month of pregnancy to reduce the risks in future pregnancies for women who have had pre-eclampsia.

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