What are the symptoms of Pre Eclampsia?

Unfortunately, Pre Eclampsia does not provide a susceptible woman with early warning symptoms or signs. The development of Pre Eclampsia can best be detected by routine screening tests carried out at antenatal check-ups. A combination of rising blood pressure and protein in the urine suggest Pre Eclampsia may be developing, although there are some other medical disorders that can give a similar picture. As yet, there is no precise diagnostic test for Pre Eclampsia. However, if a previously healthy pregnant woman develops high blood pressure and proteinuria in the latter half of her pregnancy, then the diagnosis is almost always Pre Eclampsia. Some swelling (oedema) is common in normal pregnancy, but excessive swelling which also involves the face can occur in Pre Eclampsia. In severe Pre Eclampsia, symptoms can appear, including severe headaches, visual disturbances (such as flashing lights), vomiting and pain in the upper abdomen. While such symptoms may have other less dangerous causes, they should never be ignored during pregnancy.


Medical information supplied by:
Professor Shaun Brennecke
Director of Perinatal Medicine and University of Melbourne Department Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne