In addition to monitoring the growth of your baby, your doctor screens you for signs of preeclampsia throughout your pregnancy. Preeclampsia that develops during pregnancy in a woman with hypertension is known as superimposed preeclampsia. Superimposed preeclampsia is suspected when a pregnant woman with chronic hypertension develops protein in her urine (proteinuria).
In order to confirm the diagnosis of superimposed preeclampsia, your doctor may perform the following tests:
- a 24-hour urine sample for protein; and
- blood tests to check for liver, kidney, or blood cell damage.
All women with chronic hypertension should be aware of the warning signs of preeclampsia. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms.
- persistent or severe headaches;
- blurred vision or seeing spots;
- loss of appetite;
- nausea or vomiting;
- pain in right, upper abdomen; or
- pain in the uterus or vaginal bleeding.