Pre eclampsia (pronounced as "pre-ee-clamp
see-ah"), which is also called toxemia, is when a pregnant
woman develops high blood pressure and proteinuria during pregnancy.
Pre-eclampsia is derived
from a Greek word 'eklampsis'
meaning ‘sudden flashing’
Affecting at least 5
percent of all pregnancies, it is a complex condition characterized by high blood pressure, swelling in the limbs
or face, and protein in the urine
. Pre-eclampsia can prevent the placenta
from getting enough blood. If the placenta does not get enough blood, the baby
gets less essential nutrients. This can cause low birth weight and other
problems for the baby.
Pre-eclampsia can be
mild or severe, and progress slowly or rapidly. This condition mostly manifests
after 37 weeks of pregnancy, but it can develop any time during the second half
pregnancy i.e. after the 20th
. It can also show up during labor or after delivery.
The exact cause of pre-eclampsia is not known
The high blood pressure
can affect the brain, kidneys, liver, and lungs. If the woman develops seizures
or coma, the condition is known as eclampsia
Pre-eclampsia can be diagnosed with the help of blood pressure readings taken at regular
and urine test for
by caesarean section is the most preferred treatment
for pre-eclampsia, if the fetus has grown enough to survive outside the womb.