High Blood Pressure: What Happens When You Develop Hypertension During Pregnancy?
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure is a condition that is marked by an increase in the pressure of the blood at which it flows inside the arteries. This sudden increase can weaken the heart and cause heart attacks.
Pregnancy is a beautiful event in a woman's life. She embarks on her journey with dreams of a healthy time during pregnancy and having a joyous future with her husband and baby. But pregnancy is a phase when a woman's body undergoes tremendous change and sometimes certain complications can arise. One of those complications is developing high blood pressure during pregnancy. Many women in present times, plan their pregnancy in their late 30s and early 40s, a time when they may have an already developed problem of high blood pressure even before starting the pregnancy. This pregnancy then needs extra care and tackling certain issues which are associated with high blood pressure.
To understand how this condition affects the women during their pregnancy and what other complications they are at risk of developing, we spoke to Dr. Payal Chaudhary, Senior consultant Gynecologist at Rosewalk Hospital, Delhi. Below is what she says can happen when pregnancy collides with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
The Affect of High Blood Pressure On Pregnant Women
High blood pressure can reduce blood flow to the uterus and indirectly problems with the placenta leading to reduced or suboptimal weight gain for the baby. Sometimes, high blood pressure can lead to a special condition called pre-eclampsia or eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is when along with high blood pressure, other organs start to get affected like kidneys, liver, and sometimes eyes. Kidneys may start leaking protein in urine, liver enzymes may increase and blood parameters like platelets may start to get affected. Women can develop swelling all over the body in this phase. Eclampsia happens, when the brain gets affected leading to seizures in pregnant women.
Timely management of high blood pressure admitted in the hospital for managing complications may become the need of the hour. Early delivery may need to be planned with severe pre-eclampsia. Delivery is expedited in case of Eclampsia.
So that timely detection of these complications can be done, pregnant women must be in regular contact with the healthcare system during pregnancy. Antenatal checkups are a must every month during the first seven months and after that every two weeks over the next two months and every week during the last 3-4 weeks. Women and their families must plan their deliveries under the supervision of a doctor if they suffer from high blood pressure and this is especially important in remote areas where healthcare facilities may be scarce.