Hypertension In Pregnancy: Symptoms, Risks And Treatment

5 min read

Written by Pradeep


hypertension in pregnancy
Being pregnant is such good news, and yes, there are hundreds of complications that surprise a woman in her grateful journey of 9 months. You might have heard about the Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH). If not, it is important to understand, the causes and signs, and symptoms of hypertension in pregnancy.

This is also called gestational hypertension. Doctors determine that an individual has Pregnancy Induced Hypertension when there is an abnormal level of protein in the urine. If undetected this issue can bring about many critical complications during pregnancy.

In This Article

What Exactly Is PIH?

Pregnancy Induced Hypertension develops high blood pressure during pregnancy. This problem is even classified into three types, namely toxemia and pre-eclampsia, and toxemia of pregnancy. It is just because of the fluid retention and the presence of the protein in the urine. There are chances for this high blood pressure in pregnant women.

What Are The Symptoms Of PIH?

These are the symptoms that one must be aware of while pregnant and doubt that they have hypertension.

  • While vomiting sensation is common, the occurrence of blood in it is not common.
  • Having a terrible headache and excessive vomiting might be a matter of concern.
  • Swelling is even considered to be most common around feet but ensures to check with a doctor when it gets excess and appears for both hands and feet.
  • Presence of blood in the urine or problems with urinating (less or no urine)
  • Feeling rigorously tired and having dizziness is a problem in addition to buzzing sounds in the ears.
  • Problems with the vision, like blurred or the double vision
  • Pain in the abdomen and feeling of rapid heartbeat
  • Complications with fever or sudden blindness are the common symptoms that people usually face.

Other Types Of Hypertension During Pregnancy

pregnant woman with PIH

1. Chronic Hypertension

In this scenario, women will be having hypertension before they get pregnant. While there are even women who don’t know that they have this hypertension unless they come for the first check-up after getting pregnant. On the other hand, after the completion of the 20th week, the chances of chronic hypertension will occur.

2. Gestational Hypertension

In this case, pregnant women tend to have high blood pressure and that too, at the end of the pregnancy. Other than this, there won’t be any sort of other complicated symptoms.

What Is Preeclampsia?

This is a pregnancy complication in individuals who have high blood pressure. The major complication is the damage of organ systems like the liver, kidneys, etc. And this is just because of the increase in blood pressure. This is the condition that occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If left untreated, it causes serious organ failure for both baby and mother.

Who Is At Risk For PIH?

Women with first-time pregnancies are at high risk, and either mother or sister has a history of PIH, then there are chances for the same to get repeated. Other risks involve are:

  • If the mother is carrying more than a baby, then the chances are high.
  • Women who are aged, say more than 40 years and are pregnant usually have high chances of pregnancy.
  • On the other hand, mothers who are having kidney diseases, and have blood pressure before pregnancy have the chance of PIH.

Does High Blood Pressure Mean You Have PIH?

It is not exactly that while you have high blood pressure, you will be facing the trouble of PIH. Rather, they will be checking the other factors like the presence of protein in the urine as well as excessive swelling. Only then do the doctors conclude that pregnant women have the problem of PIH.

What Are The Risks Of PIH To The Baby And Mother?

Risk For PIH

Luckily, due to the routine monthly check-up, PIH is detected in time, and hence most of the women experiencing PIH deliver a healthy baby.  However, without proper prenatal care, PIH can potentially harm pregnancy and the health of mother and child.

  • Placenta supplies nourishment and oxygen to the baby in the womb. PIH hinders the blood supply to the placenta. This, in turn, brings about low birth weight and other issues in the newborn.
  • Preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication associated with PIH, poses a high risk in pregnancy and health of the mother.

>Do Swelling Mean I Have PIH?

Swelling or stiffness is more common in every pregnant woman. However, these sorts of swelling will reduce with some relaxation. But the excessive swelling of PIH never comes down, and moreover, gaining of weight more than 5 pounds is a caution for the individuals troubling with PIH. Consider all these things, and just don’t fear that you have PIH just by seeing your swelling.

Do I Have To Remove Salt From Diet If I have PIH?

Avoiding salt is the best option in case of experiencing blood pressure. However, it is a very bad idea during pregnancy. Expecting mothers need the right amount of salt for the normal flow of fluid. Therefore, instead of avoiding it altogether, stick on to the right amount of salt — not a pinch more and not a pinch less.

Diagnosing PIH

The diagnostic tests include blood pressure and Urine test. To diagnose you first, they will be as usual checking the blood pressure.

  • Blood Pressure

If the blood pressure is high, and it is never like this before pregnancy, then there are higher chances that you have developed PIH. Usually, blood pressure will be increased for women based on their health conditions. This could be either in the early stage or in the later stages of the pregnancy.

  • Urine Test

If the results in the urine test show the presence of the protein found in the urine, then the chances are high for the risk of PIH. So, checking urine is the next common thing when the doctor doubts that you have high blood pressure that is troubling you during the pregnancy journey.

It depends on the health condition, and the trimester of the pregnancy; the doctors will start the treatment. Doctors always want the mother to conceive at the earliest and safest time, so that there won’t be any sort of risks for the mother and the baby.

There is a strict necessity to get the right supervisor of the doctor for a safer pregnancy. Taking an appropriate rest will help the mother who is having trouble with the HIP. Even for the fetus, the doctors will be suggesting a few tests to check for their health.

Stay cool with the right diet and proper exercises and deliver a healthy baby.


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