What can be done to reduce the risk of Pre Eclampsia or its recurrence?

The best way to minimise the harm that Pre Eclampsia may cause in a pregnancy is to regularly attend for antenatal check-ups, so that the chance of detecting Pre Eclampsia in its earliest stages is optimised. If a woman is at particular risk of Pre Eclampsia, then it would be wise for her to attend a specialist obstetrician or maternity hospital with skill and experience in the management of Pre Eclampsia and its complications. Such women especially should consult with their doctors early in pregnancy, or even before pregnancy, to plan their antenatal care. All women should ensure that their blood pressure is checked regularly during pregnancy and that their urine is examined for the presence of protein. While small amounts of protein in urine specimens may be normal during pregnancy, amounts greater than a "trace" should not be ignored and should lead to further investigations to determine the cause of the proteinuria. Besides Pre Eclampsia, attention may be drawn by this simple antenatal test to other pregnancy problems such as urinary tract infections.

Women should always report worrying signs or symptoms to their doctor during pregnancy. Often there may turn out to be no cause for alarm, but it is a simple matter to have a blood pressure measurement, a urine check, a blood test or other investigations or examinations to be sure that Pre Eclampsia or some other pregnancy complication is not the cause of the symptoms or signs of concern.

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