Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and damage to organs, most commonly the liver and kidneys. It typically develops after the 20th week of pregnancy and affects about 5-8% of pregnancies. If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications for both the mother and baby, including premature birth and even death.
The exact cause of preeclampsia is not known, but it is thought to be related to problems with the blood vessels in the placenta, which can lead to reduced blood flow to the baby and an increase in certain substances that can cause high blood pressure. Risk factors for developing preeclampsia include first-time pregnancy, obesity, multiple pregnancy, advanced maternal age, a history of high blood pressure, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease.
Symptoms of preeclampsia may include high blood pressure, protein in the urine, swelling in the face and hands, headaches, vision changes, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain. Some women with preeclampsia may not experience any symptoms, which is why regular prenatal care and monitoring are so important.
Preeclampsia is usually diagnosed through regular prenatal visits, which may include measuring blood pressure, checking for protein in the urine, and monitoring fetal growth. Additional tests may be performed if there are concerns about the baby’s health, such as a non-stress test or ultrasound.
The only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby, but this may not always be possible or desirable if the pregnancy is not far enough along. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and preventing complications, and may include medications to lower blood pressure and prevent seizures, bed rest, and close monitoring of the mother and baby.


Preventing preeclampsia is not always possible, but there are some steps that may reduce the risk, such as maintaining a healthy weight before and during pregnancy, managing any preexisting medical conditions, getting regular prenatal care, and avoiding smoking and alcohol. Women who have had preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy may be at increased risk and should be closely monitored during subsequent pregnancies.

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