6 Things Pregnant Woman Must Know About Eclampsia & Treatment
Eclampsia is a severe condition that occurs after preeclampsia gets worse. It affects pregnant women. It is a quite rare condition, as only 5% to 8% of pregnant women suffer from it. There is no known cause of eclampsia but there are risk factors like high blood pressure, multiple gestations, kidney transplant, diabetes, weight, family history, age, IVF etc. Those that suffer from eclampsia experience seizures during and after pregnancy. The following are some things about eclampsia that you must know as a pregnant woman.
1. Eclampsia is a serious complication of preeclampsia:
Eclampsia can occur if preeclampsia has been left untreated. Pregnant women that have eclampsia suffer from extreme seizures. These seizures can cause brain damage, coma and even death. Most eclampsia cases can get worse during childbirth. The highest risk time is when a woman is pushing during vaginal delivery. Apart from eclampsia, preeclampsia can also lead to HELLP syndrome. HELLP syndrome mostly occurs in late pregnancy and can cause breakdown of red blood cells. It can also affect blood clots and the liver function.
2. Preeclampsia may not be easily detected:
A lot of women that have preeclampsia do not feel sick in any way. A lot of women do not realize that they are getting sick or they have any condition. Early symptoms include sudden weight gain over a few days and swelling in the hands and face. More detectable symptoms are vomiting and nausea, pain in the right shoulder or below the ribs, persisting headache, temporary blindness, blurry vision and other vision problems. Prenatal checkups are important. Once the symptoms are noticed, preeclampsia can be confirmed through a urine test for preeclampsia.
3. Preeclampsia occurs mostly during the third trimester:
Most women that have preeclampsia usually feel the symptoms during the third trimester. They witness a large increase in their blood pressure and a failing of their kidneys. Doctors try to manage preeclampsia by checking for excess protein in the urine and monitoring the blood pressure constantly.
4. Most preeclampsia cases occur during the first pregnancy:
Preeclampsia usually happens during the first pregnancy. Once, you have it in your first pregnancy, you are likely to have it in your future pregnancies. Preeclampsia usually occurs among teenagers that are pregnant and women that are pregnant in their 40s or late 30s. Women that have preeclampsia in their previous pregnancies are advised to attend more prenatal sessions than other women. They also need to take medication including antihypertensive to lower the blood pressure, anticonvulsant to prevent a seizure and corticosteroid to improve the functioning of the liver.
5. Preeclampsia can cause early delivery:
If a doctor feels that a preeclampsia case is too severe, there may be a need for early delivery to prevent risks to the mother and child. Eclampsia can cause placental abruption and premature babies that have low birth weight.
6. The only cure for preeclampsia is delivery:
Preeclampsia is treated with magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures, but the only cure for it is delivery. But care should still be taken as postpartum preeclampsia is possible. About 4 out of 5 women that die from preeclampsia die postpartum. Postpartum preeclampsia develops within two days of childbirth, but there are cases that took four to six weeks after delivery to develop.
Most pregnant women need not worry about preeclampsia and eclampsia, but they must be on the watch. If you notice any symptom, you must see your doctor. A lot of preeclampsia symptoms are minor symptoms that are usually ignored. Don’t overlook anything. Tell your doctor the exact way you feel. Using calcium supplements and low-dose aspirin may reduce the chances of you having preeclampsia.