As the name suggests Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) is high blood pressure during pregnancy occurring in some women. It is also called Gestational hypertension when the affected woman usually gets it after 20 weeks gestation without the presence of protein in the urine. Other names for PIH are toxemia or preeclampsia when the protein is found in the urine. More severe form is called eclampsia which can be life threatening.
Risk Profile for Pregnancy Induced Hypertesion
The first time mother, teenage mothers, mothers above 40 and women who have kidney diseases before being pregnant are at the risk of pregnancy induced hypertension.
Women whose sisters or mothers had PIH are at risk. Obesity and diabetes are also big risk factors.
Pregnancy Induced Hypertension Symptoms
Many women will experience some or all the symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting and blurred vision. Pain in the upper abdomen and shortness of breath can also occur.
Another typical symptom of pregnancy induced hypertension is disturbed urination leading to small amount of urination and more frequent urge to urinate.
These women will have excessive swelling and high amount of protein will be found in their urine.
Women with pregnancy induced hypertension gets less oxygen in the placenta. This may have impact on the development of the baby as placenta is the source of oxygen to the baby.
Severe PIH may cause seizures and even death of either or both the mother and the fetus. Because of these risks, it is necessary treat the hypertension and it may become essential for the baby to be delivered early, before 37 weeks gestation.
Pregnancy Induced Hypertension Treatment
Once diagnosed, PIH is regularly monitored to ensure that it doesn’t reach dangerous levels. There is no specific treatment for pregnancy induced hypertension bed rest is a preferred option to reduce blood pressure.
Treatment options are limited as most hypertension medication has negative effect on the fetus. Most common drugs used to cure severe pregnancy induced hypertension are hydralazine , labetalol and methyldopa.
Depending on the severity, oveall health and medical history of the pregnant woman and tolerance to medication doctors usually determine specific treatment for pregnancy-induced hypertension.
The ultimate goal is to stop the condition to get worse and to prevent it from causing any life threatening complications. Doctors take utmost precaution in the treatment of pregnancy induced hypertension.
Learn more about hypertension in the other related articles: