A Healthy Pregnancy: Understanding Pre-Eclampsia
Every year, pre-eclampsia affects 10 million pregnancies around the world, and it is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity and leads to over 2.5 million premature births annually. Pre-eclampsia also has long-term consequences affecting both the mother and the baby later in life—but it is a treatable condition if caught early enough.
Better outcomes for mothers and babies can be achieved through improved pre-eclampsia screening and management. Even raising awareness so that expecting mothers and parents can recognize the symptoms and seek medical care can help mitigate the risks.
Predictive screening during the first trimester of pregnancy is currently recommended by two international medical societies, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics and International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Early screening includes using a combination of medical history, blood pressure, a blood test for placenta growth factor, and a Doppler ultrasound scan to assess a personalized risk of developing pre-eclampsia later in pregnancy.
With these screenings, it is possible to identify 75% of women at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia later in pregnancy. Up to 95% of women identified as high risk can benefit from timely preventive aspirin care under medical supervision.
Learn the Risk Factors
You are more at risk if:
- This is your first pregnancy, or even your first pregnancy with your present partner
- You, your mother or sister had pre-eclampsia
- You have a BMI (body mass index) of 35 or more
- Your age is 40 or over
- You are expecting twins, triplets, or quads
- You have a medical problem such as high blood pressure, kidney problems and/or diabetes
- Your pregnancy was medically assisted e.g. in vitro fertilization (IVF)
Know the Symptoms
Symptoms of pre-eclampsia may appear during second or third trimester of pregnancy.
In addition to high blood pressure and protein in urine, typical symptoms of pre-eclampsia may include:
- Blurry vision
Because the symptoms are so common, the onset of pre-eclampsia is hard to identify. When signs and symptoms appear fast diagnosis and proper management can improve the outcome by delaying the need for early delivery.
Better Outcomes for Mothers and Babies
PerkinElmer has been working to provide testing solutions for healthier pregnancies and families for more than 30 years. Working closely with the scientists and health care providers, PerkinElmer is continuously improving the offering for different needs and settings of pre-eclampsia prediction, prevention and management.
May is pre-eclampsia awareness month—come back for more content for families and health care providers all month as we raise awareness about this severe, but treatable condition. Please join us and share this message with your doctor, colleagues, family and friends.
PerkinElmer does not endorse or make recommendations with respect to research, medication, or treatments. All information presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For country specific recommendations please consult your local health care professionals.