Medical Q&As

Pre-eclampsia - recurrence?

I had severe pre-eclampsia during my first pregnancy resulting in my daughter being born 5 weeks early by caesarean section. I'm now one month pregnant and would like to know is there anything I should do this time or should my doctor be monitoring me?

Pre-eclampsia is a complication of pregnancy that gives rise to the classical triad of raised blood pressure, swelling and large amounts of protein in the urine. If it is not diagnosed and managed it can represent a significant threat to the health of the mother and foetus. It is commonest on the first pregnancy and tends to occur in the second half of pregnancy. The risk of this condition occurring is increased in cases of multiple pregnancy, teenage motherís and women over the age of forty. A history of kidney disease or high blood pressure before becoming pregnant are risk factors for pre-eclampsia. The precise cause of the condition is not known. Pre-eclampsia is usually detected early in women who attend for regular antenatal care. If the condition is diagnosed it is normal practice for the woman to attend more frequently for antenatal visits so that her weight, blood pressure and urine can be assessed. Pre-eclampsia can recur therefore in view of your history it is quite likely that your progress would be monitored very closely should you exhibit any possibility of pre-eclampsia.