Toxemia (also known as preeclampsia) refers to high blood pressure (also referred to as hypertension) that can develop during pregnancy. Toxemia is relatively common, considering that approximately 7% of women develop it to one degree or another during the course of pregnancy.

Things You Will Need

A desire to learn more about toxemia.

Step 1

When it comes to overall pregnancy health, mild toxemia is generally not considered a great cause for concern in that it tends not to be problematic for mother or baby.

Step 2

Severe preeclampsia, on the other hand, requires very close monitoring. It can develop at any point during a pregnancy, which is why your prenatal medical team checks your blood pressure each time you come in for a prenatal appointment.

Step 3

Doctors and researchers have yet to discover what triggers toxemia. Since the causes of preeclampsia have yet to be determined, doctors cannot screen women in advance to determine whether or not they might be at risk for developing it.

Step 4

For some reason that is also not yet known, most cases of toxemia develop when a woman is pregnant with her first child. It can occur in subsequent pregnancies, but this is less common.

Step 5

If your prenatal medical team detects an increase in your blood pressure, they will look for other toxemia symptoms, such as swelling in the extremities and face, which are an indication of excessive fluid retention. Excessive protein levels in your urine are also indicative of preeclampsia.

Step 6

The high blood pressure associated with toxemia can cause other pregnancy health problems, including liver and/or kidney damage and/or strokes. And of course any time the mother experiences health problems, her baby's health is in jeopardy as well.

Sometimes toxemia can be controlled with prescribed hypertension medication. Other times, depending upon the severity of the toxemia, high blood pressure meds must be combined with total bed rest to reduce your hypertension and prevent giving birth prematurely.

Tips & Warnings

Every year thousands of women suffer from pregnancy induced hypertension. This disease has two names, Toxemia and Preeclampsia. It is estimated that 7 out of every 100 pregnant women will develop Toxemia to some degree. Mild Toxemia is monitored closely and usually causes very little problems for the mother or child. However, when Toxemia becomes severe it can cause many health problems.

For more articles that may be of interest, please read this piece, and this one.