Pregnancy poisoning

Pregnancy poisoning is caused by high blood pressure during your pregnancy. Usually this occurs when you are about 20 to 24 weeks pregnant, but it can also occur gradually at another time. High blood pressure is also called 'hypertension'. For that reason, another name is for it pregnancy poisoning, pregnancy hypertension.

Starting pregnancy poisoning and the consequences

The result of a pregnancy poisoning is that organs no longer function properly and that the placenta is affected. If the placenta is affected, your child will receive fewer nutrients and less oxygen. This slows down the growth of your baby, so your baby will be smaller and thinner when it is born. A pregnancy poisoning can therefore certainly be dangerous for yourself and your child.

How does pregnancy poisoning arise?

Unfortunately, the direct one cause of pregnancy poisoning not yet known. It is possible that genetic predisposition and the way in which the placenta develops play a role. The danger of high blood pressure is that you do not realize it immediately.

Pregnancy poisoning symptoms

Yet there are a number of symptoms that can mean that your blood pressure is too high. The following phenomena or pregnancy poisoning symptoms are linked to a specific form of pregnancy poisoning.

Pregnancy hypertension

This means high blood pressure during your pregnancy from week 20. Your blood pressure was normal during the first part of your pregnancy.

You can easily monitor blood pressure at home with a blood pressure monitor!


If you have an increased drainage of proteins in addition to high blood pressure via the kidneys and urine, you have pre-eclampsia. The pre-eclampsia symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Tingling fingers
  • Nauseous
  • Feel sick or flu
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Moisture accumulations (edema) in your face, hands and ankles.

HELLP Syndrome

HELLP syndrome stands for Hemolysis Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelets. This means that you have high blood pressure, protein loss and fluid retention just like in pre-eclampsia. In addition, you can suffer from pain in your upper abdomen and the feeling that there is a very tight band around your belly. If you notice these complaints or the symptoms of preeclampsia, it is wise to contact your doctor or gynecologist directly.


Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome can in the worst case proceed to eclampsia. This is the most severe form of pregnancy poisoning and can even be life-threatening for your baby and for you.

Eclampsia is characterized by very high blood pressure and you suffer from convulsions that are comparable to an epileptic seizure. In addition, you also have all the symptoms of the other forms of pregnancy poisoning that we have mentioned above.

How can you prevent pregnancy poisoning?

What may reduce the risk of pregnancy poisoning is taking extra vitamin D. Always consult your doctor if this is sensible to you.

What you can do in addition is to ensure that you are on time. This means that it is wise to go to check regularly. If it appears that your blood pressure has increased slightly, keep listening to your body. If you notice that your symptoms worsen between the controls, contact your doctor or gynecologist immediately.

Is pregnancy poisoning hereditary?

Hereditary factors certainly play a role. If your mother or sister has already had pregnancy poisoning, the chance that you will get it is also greater.

Pregnancy poisoning treatment

To be able to treat on time it is important to keep a close eye on the symptoms mentioned. If you notice them you should immediately go to check to determine if you have pregnancy poisoning. If your gynecologist or general practitioner diagnosed with pregnancy poisoning, then they can prescribe medication that will lower your blood pressure a little.
If it happens towards the end of your pregnancy, this can be enough. Are you less than 34 weeks pregnant you may need to give an early delivery to prevent further damage to your body and to your child.

Besides medication, the only thing that causes it to pass is: your delivery. After your delivery you will recover soon, in most cases within 2 weeks.

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