Preeclampsia and High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
High blood pressure (hypertension) and preeclampsia are typically found during regular prenatal checkups. Because these conditions can get worse rapidly and can be life-threatening to you and your fetus, it's important that you have regular checkups during your pregnancy.
Routine prenatal tests
Certain tests are given at each prenatal visit to monitor for high blood pressure and preeclampsia. These include a:
Tests for pregnant women considered high-risk for preeclampsia
Other tests may also be used to monitor for signs of preeclampsia, including:
Tests for women who have preeclampsia
If results from one or more of the above tests suggest that you have preeclampsia, you and your fetus will be closely monitored throughout the remainder of your pregnancy. The type and frequency of testing depend on the severity of the preeclampsia and the time remaining until your pregnancy reaches full term (37 to 42 completed weeks). Testing is more frequent and extensive when preeclampsia is severe and the pregnancy is far from full-term (less than 36 weeks).
Tests that may be given to assess your health if you have preeclampsia include:
Tests for women who have eclampsia
If you have a seizure (eclampsia), one or more of the following tests may be done after delivery to assess your brain function and condition:
Tests for the fetus
If you develop high blood pressure, preeclampsia, or both, your fetus's health also will be closely monitored. The more severe your condition, the more frequent the fetal testing, ranging from once a week to daily.
Tests commonly used to monitor fetal health include:
Less commonly, amniocentesis is used to check fetal well-being if preterm delivery is being considered as a treatment option. For this procedure, a needle is inserted into your abdomen to collect amniotic fluid from inside the uterus. The fluid is then checked for chemical signs that the fetus's lungs are mature.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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