Preeclampsia : What are the causes and how do I prevent it?

Patient: I am a twenty nine year old nigerian who just lost her pregnancy due to preeclampia. The problem was i was showing no signs or symptoms, just found out through a regular BP check up, went to the clinic and before anything could be done, the baby was gone. My BP was usually, one hundred and sixty to one hundred and ten Hg. i want to know what caused it and if it can occur and be prevented in my second pregnancy?

Doctor: I can understand the problems and difficulites that you have gone through and am sorry for your loss. Preeclampsia is a condition which is characterised by high blood pressure, poor kidney function and can lead to serious consequences like seizures, liver damage , clotting problems etc in the mom and more complications in the baby. It occurs due to an imbalance between 2 types of substances in the body which then leads to constiction ie narrowing of the arteries in the placenta thus leading to decreased and defective placental function. Since you have had pre eclampsia in the last pregnancy you have a higher risk of having the same in subsequent pregnancies too. While there is no way to prevent it, it is advisable to keep a thorough check on your BP early on into the next pregnancy along with more frequent urine tests which can help detect the present of the same. I hope this helps and I wish you all the best.