Pre-eclampsia is more common in women who have not given birth before. Other things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
- Problems with the immune system, such as lupus
- Pre-eclampsia in a prior pregnancy
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic high blood pressure
- Being pregnant with more than 1 baby
- Being overweight or obese
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. Pre-eclampsia is diagnosed if you have high blood pressure.
Other tests that may be done are:
- Urine tests to look for high protein levels
- Blood tests to check for low levels of platelets that are needed to help with blood clotting
The only way to cure this condition is to deliver the baby. The decision to do so is based on how far along the pregnancy is.
If it is safe, labor may happen on its own or it may be started by the doctor. Delivery may need to be delayed so the baby has more time to grow.
If the baby needs more time and pre-eclampsia is mild, it may be managed by:
- Bed rest and monitoring at home or in the hospital
- Medicines to lower blood pressure
- Medicine to help the baby's lungs develop faster
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Toxemia of Pregnancy; Pregnancy-induced Hypertension; Preeclampsia)
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
Women's Health Matters https://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://sogc.org
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