Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to organs, often the liver and kidneys. It usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had previously been normal. Below, we will outline some key signs that you may have preeclampsia.
One of the common indicators of preeclampsia is recurrent, severe headaches. These are not the typical headaches you might experience due to stress or fatigue, but rather are persistent and often resistant to over-the-counter headache remedies. If you notice a sudden onset of severe headaches during your pregnancy, it may be worth discussing with your healthcare provider.
Swelling in the Hands and Face
While mild swelling, known as edema, is quite common in pregnant women, sudden or severe swelling in the hands, feet, or face can be a sign of preeclampsia. This happens due to excess protein in the urine or kidney problems. Notably, if the swelling happens in your face or around your eyes, or if there's a significant increase in swelling in your hands, it’s critical to contact your doctor promptly.
Changes in Vision
Preeclampsia can also cause changes in your vision. These might involve seeing spots or flashing lights, blurry vision, or temporary loss of vision. This occurs as a result of high blood pressure causing harm to the blood vessels in the eye. Such vision changes may signal a more severe form of preeclampsia, and immediate medical attention is required.
In conclusion, while these symptoms can be concerning, it's crucial to remember that they could also be unrelated to preeclampsia. Always seek medical advice if you're uncertain. Regular prenatal checkups can help your healthcare provider spot signs of preeclampsia early and manage it effectively.