Pre-eclampsia rarely happens before the 20th week of pregnancy. M ost cases occur after 24-26 weeks and usually towards the end of pregnancy.
Although less common, the condition can also develop for the first time during the firstsix weeks after the birth.
Most people onlyexperience mild symptoms, but it's important to manage the condition, in casesevere symptoms or complications develop. Generally, the earlierpre-eclampsia, develops the more severe the condition will be.
Initially, pre-eclampsia causes:
You probably won'tnotice any symptoms of either of these,but your GP or midwife should pick them up during your routine antenatal appointments .
High blood pressure affects 10-15% of all pregnant women, so this alone doesn't suggest pre-eclampsia. However, if protein in the urine is found at the same time as high blood pressure, it's a good indicator of the condition.
Without immediate treatment, pre-eclampsia may lead to a number of serious complications, including:
However,these complications are rare. This is caused by poor blood supply through the placenta to the baby.
The growing baby receives less oxygen and fewer nutrients than it should, which can affect development. This is called intra-uterine or foetal growth restriction.
If your baby is growing more slowly than usual, this will normally be picked up during your antenatal appointments when the midwife or doctor measures you.
Pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects some pregnant women, usually during the second half of pregnancy (from around 20 weeks) or soon after their baby is delivered.
Pre-eclampsia rarely happens before the 20th week of pregnancy. Most cases occur after 24-26 weeks and usually towards the end of pregnancy.
Pre-eclampsia is thought to be caused by the placenta not developing properly due to a problem with the blood vessels supplying it. The exact cause isn't fully understood.
Pre-eclampsia is easily diagnosed during the routine checks you have while you're pregnant.
Pre-eclampsia can only be cured by delivering the baby. If you have pre-eclampsia, you'll be closely monitored until it's possible to deliver the baby.
Although they're rare, a number of complications can develop if pre-eclampsia isn't diagnosed and monitored.