Gestational Hypertension: Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment Options

Gestational hypertension refers to high blood pressure during pregnancy. It is essential that you seek routine pregnancy care to manage your gestational hypertension because if left unchecked, it can raise your risk for preeclampsia, which can cause protein in the urine, lower extremity edema, and fluid retention. Here are some common symptoms of gestational hypertension to watch out for and some effective treatment options to help keep your blood pressure within normal limits during your pregnancy. 

Gestational Hypertension Signs And Symptoms

The most common manifestation of gestational hypertension is increased blood pressure. Because elevated blood pressure usually does not make you feel abnormal or sick, it is important that you get your blood pressure checked by your healthcare provider regularly. You may also develop protein in your urine, leg or ankle swelling, nausea, vomiting, and sudden weight gain.

Voiding small amounts of urine, stomach pain, or upper right quadrant pain in your abdomen may also be symptomatic of gestational hypertension. In addition, your blood tests may reveal kidney and liver function abnormalities, while your urinalysis may reveal high amounts of protein in your urine, also known as proteinuria. Because gestational hypertension is often asymptomatic, it is important that you keep all of your prenatal appointments with your obstetrician so that they can monitor your condition and provide treatment early on, if necessary.

Gestational Hypertension Treatment Options

Pregnancy treatment for high blood pressure during pregnancy may include bed rest at home. If warranted, your physician may recommend that your bed rest take place in the hospital where your blood pressure and other vital signs can be closely monitored.

Magnesium sulfate may also be prescribed for its antihypertensive effects. However, if your blood pressure is very high, prescription antihypertensive drugs may be necessary. In addition, you may need to undergo fetal monitoring to assess the health of your baby, as well as an ultrasound study of your blood vessels to evaluate your circulation.

Your doctor may also recommend a low-sodium diet to further reduce your blood pressure and decrease your risk for lower extremity swelling. Drinking plenty of water during the day may also be recommended. In addition, your healthcare provider may advise you to lie on your left side when resting or sleeping so that the weight of your baby does put pressure on your major blood vessels.

If you are pregnant, get regular pregnancy care. When gestational hypertension is diagnosed and treated in its early stages, you are more likely to have an excellent prognosis and a complication-free pregnancy. For more information about treatment, contact a care facility like Sandhills OB-GYN.