Hypertension or high blood pressure is the most common medical problem that is encountered in pregnancy. In general gestational hypertension complicates 10% of first time pregnancies.
Mild pre-eclampsia affects up to 10% of first time pregnancies with severe pre-eclampsia affecting about 1-2 in 100 severe pregnancies.
Pre-eclampsia is the most common of the serious complications of pregnancy. It is caused by a defect in the placenta, which joins the mother and baby and supplies the baby with nutrients and oxygen from the mother’s blood. While we do not know yet exactly what is the root cause of pre-eclampsia, medical science is expanding our knowledge every day. By definition, pre-eclampsia occurs after 20 weeks (but in very rare cases can occur earlier) and the majority of cases occur in the third trimester.
In its early stages pre-eclampsia is symptom-less and is only detectable by regular antenatal checks on the mother’s blood pressure and urine. Pre-eclampsia is known as a multi-system disorder which means it can affect different parts of your body such as your liver, your kidneys, your cardiovascular system or your clotting systems.