Arteries supply oxygenated blood to all the tissues and organs in our body. When the pressure in the walls of these blood vessels increases, you are said to have high blood pressure or hypertension. This high blood pressure when not controlled in time, can lead to damage to the arteries and other organs.
Hypertension during pregnancy comes with its own set of risks. It poses a greater threat to health as two lives are involved. The side effects of gestational hypertension can range from mild to life-threatening. In some cases, the women face no issues at all throughout their pregnancy and even have successful normal deliveries. In others, it can cause serious complications when not controlled.
Gestational Hypertension Complications
Hypertension during pregnancy may lead to thickening of the blood vessels, which can result in stroke, heart attack and other heart and arteries related complications.
When you have high blood pressure, it puts extra pressure on your heart to meet the demands of your body. This results in swelling of the walls of the ventricle and it can become harder for this muscle to pump blood. And it can result in heart failure.
Renal system problems
As the blood vessels become weak due to hypertension, it can result in restricted functioning of kidneys.
High blood pressure can affect the blood vessels of eyes, causing them to become thick and narrow. They may also get damaged, leading to loss of sight.
High blood pressure can make the arteries become weak and form a bulge, which is referred to as aneurysm. This condition can occur in any major organ and if an aneurysm ruptures, it can be fatal.
Pregnant women with hypertension are likely to put on extra weight as their body’s metabolism decreases. They may also experience an increase in triglycerides and insulin, which can lead to diabetes and heart problems.
Decreased blood-flow to the placenta
High blood pressure can restrict blood flow to the placenta which leads to less supply of oxygen and other essential nutrients to the baby. This can also cause placenta to separate before the completion of full term, which is a dangerous condition.
Women with high blood pressure may need to deliver early either by getting induced or through caesarean, in order to avoid further complications. Children born preterm may be affected with health problems and low birth weight.
Decrease in memory and understanding ability
Hypertension may have an effect on thinking and recalling ability. They may face difficulty in understanding and remembering. In severe cases of arteries becoming narrow, the blood supply to the brain gets restricted and this may even result in vascular dementia.