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Preeclampsia is when you have high blood pressure and possibly protein in your urine during pregnancy or after delivery. You may also have low clotting factors (platelets) in your blood or indicators of kidney or liver trouble.

Preeclampsia generally happens after the 20th week of pregnancy. However, in some cases it occurs earlier, or after delivery.

Eclampsia is a severe progression of preeclampsia. With this condition, high blood pressure results in seizures. Like preeclampsia, eclampsia occurs during pregnancy or, rarely, after delivery.

Symptoms of Preeclampsia

It’s important to remember that you might not notice any symptoms of preeclampsia. If you do develop symptoms, some common ones include:

  • persistent headache
  • abnormal swelling in your hands and face
  • sudden weight gain
  • changes in your vision
  • pain in the right upper abdomen
  • During a physical exam, your doctor may find that your blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or higher. Urine and blood tests can also show protein in your urine, abnormal liver enzymes, and low platelet levels.