One of the toxemias of pregnancy is preeclampsia which is characterized by an increased blood pressure, proteinuria and edema.It usually occurs in the late part of second trimester or during the third trimester but it may also appear during the first trimester in some women. Interestingly, many women who suffered preeclampsia have said that the first thing they noticed was their wedding rings which have gone tight as they reached their second trimester.

The exact cause of preeclampsia is unknown however several risk factors have been identified. This is most common among women who are pregnant for the first time or what is called as primigravida. Other factors that may predispose a woman in developing such condition would include the following:  age of less than 17 or more than 35, previous history of hypertension, little to no prenatal checkup and genetics also play a certain role in the development of such condition.

Preeclampsia can lead to a more serious condition known as eclampsia where the patient will be manifesting the above stated signs and symptoms of preeclampsia plus convulsive seizures. One significant thing to consider in either preeclampsia or eclampsia is the treatment which is the delivery of the baby.  This is why monitoring the patient is very essential because termination of pregnancy cannot be done at any time unless there is an assurance that the baby can already withstand extra-uterine life.

It must be noted that preeclampsia and eclampsia post serious health risks to both the fetus and the mother and oftentimes may result to fatality if not controlled or prevented.

Preeclampsia Pathophysiology and Schematic Diagram

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