The Causes of Hypertension in Pregnancy and How to Treat It

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The Causes of Hypertension in Pregnancy and How to Treat It
The Causes of Hypertension in Pregnancy and How to Treat It

Hypertension in pregnancy can harm pregnant women and their fetuses. Therefore, it is important to know what are the causes of hypertension in pregnancy so that this condition can be prevented and treated appropriately

Hypertension in pregnancy is a condition when the blood pressure of pregnant women is above 140/90 mmHg. It is estimated that around 5-10% of pregnant women worldwide experience hypertension during pregnancy. This condition usually appears around 20 weeks of gestation, but can also appear earlier.

Causes of Hypertension in Pregnancy and How to Treat It - Alodokter

Various Causes of Hypertension in Pregnancy

High blood pressure during pregnancy can be caused by various conditions, namely:

1. Chronic hypertension

Chronic hypertension is high blood pressure that has occurred before pregnancy or before 20 weeks of gestation. This condition is often asymptomatic, so many pregnant women do not realize that they have chronic hypertension.

Chronic hypertension in pregnant women is often only detected when pregnant women undergo an obstetrical examination.

2. Chronic hypertension with preeclampsia

If chronic hypertension is not treated properly, pregnant women can develop preeclampsia. This condition is characterized by high blood pressure accompanied by the presence of protein in the urine.

Chronic hypertension with preeclampsia usually occurs in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

3. Gestational hypertension

Gestational hypertension is an increase in blood pressure that occurs after 20 weeks of gestation. This increase in blood pressure is generally not accompanied by the presence of protein in the urine or organ damage.

In pregnant women who experience this condition, blood pressure can usually return to normal after giving birth.

4. Preeclampsia

Hypertension in pregnancy that is not well controlled can develop into preeclampsia. In addition to the presence of protein in the urine, preeclampsia can also be accompanied by damage to organ systems, such as the kidneys, liver, blood, or brain. Preeclampsia usually causes pregnant women to experience the following symptoms:

  • Recurrent headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling of face and hands
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurred vision
  • Blood pressure increases rapidly

There are several factors that can increase the risk of pregnant women to experience preeclampsia, including:

  • First pregnancy
  • Over 40 years old
  • History of preeclampsia in previous pregnancies
  • Family history with preeclampsia
  • Pregnant more than one fetus or pregnant with twins, both twins 2 or more
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune diseases

Although it is rare, preeclampsia can also be experienced by women after giving birth or it is also called postpartum preeclampsia.

5. Eclampsia

Eclampsia is a continuation of preeclampsia that is not controlled or not handled properly.Eclampsia is the most severe type of hypertension in pregnancy. In addition to high blood pressure, pregnant women with this condition also experience seizures, and can even go into a coma.

Various Dangers of Hypertension in Pregnancy

Hypertension in pregnancy that is not handled properly, not only harms the pregnant woman, but also the fetus. The following are the various effects of hypertension in pregnancy that need to be watched out for:

Fetal growth retarded

When blood flow to the placenta is reduced, the fetus does not get enough oxygen and nutrients. This can cause stunted fetal growth and low birth weight.

Premature birth

If the condition of hypertension in pregnancy gets worse, the doctor will suggest premature birth by induction or caesarean section. This is done to prevent eclampsia and other complications.

placental solution

Placental abruption is a condition when the placenta separates from the uterine wall before delivery. This can cause placental damage and heavy bleeding.

Cardiovascular disease

Preeclampsia can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease after childbirth, such as postpartum hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. This risk will be higher if the mother gave birth prematurely. However, this risk can be reduced with medication and a he althy lifestyle.

In addition, uncontrolled hypertension in pregnancy can also cause damage to body organs, such as the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. In severe cases, this condition can also lead to death of the mother and baby.

How to Treat Hypertension in Pregnancy

Hypertension in pregnancy is a condition that must always be monitored by a doctor. Therefore, it is important for every pregnant woman to regularly check her pregnancy to the obstetrician according to schedule.

To treat hypertension in pregnancy, the doctor will give blood pressure-lowering drugs. The medicine that the doctor chooses is generally adjusted to the conditions of the pregnancy so that it does not have an impact on the fetus.

When getting hypertension treatment from a doctor, remember to take the drug according to the dose and doctor's instructions. Do not stop taking or change the dose without a doctor's supervision.

Also avoid taking medicines or herbal supplements that are believed to lower blood pressure, especially if there is no clear scientific evidence.

Pregnant women are also recommended to exercise regularly, eat nutritious food, get enough rest, and manage stress well. Also, avoid smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages.

So that the various effects of hypertension in pregnancy can be prevented, it is important for pregnant women to undergo regular check-ups with a gynecologist. That way, the he alth condition of pregnant women and fetuses can be continuously monitored.

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