Medical Monday: Preeclampsia and blood pressure issues in pregnancy

Blood Pressure. We all know it can be a concern. But what is it really? Why is it such a concern in and out of pregnancy ?

Our entire body is fed by a system of pipes from large to tiny, which is pressurized by the pumping of the heart. Plumbing is a good analogy until you realize these aren't ordinary pipes. Most of these pipes are capable of changing their diameter, and thus their pressure within, in response to fine chemical signals. And they are pipes, which like ordinary plumbing, can build up sediment and develop blockages. They can even weaken and leak. Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood flowing in these pipes. 

Fluid balance, hormone, and immunologic changes of pregnancy have great sway of the blood pressure of a pregnant woman. If she happens to have the type of body which has tense stiff vessels even outside of pregnancy, that is, if she has chronic underlying hypertension, so much the worse. She will be prone to conditions like preeclampsia, also called toxemia. 

Click HERE to learn more about this fascinating and important area of Obstetrics .