Dr. Lam shares if a woman is likely to develop preeclampsia if she had it with a prior pregnancy and how can she advocate for her health.
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Reoccurring Preeclampsia in Other Pregnancies The recurrence risk of preeclampsia can vary and a lot of it depends upon pre-existing risk factors. So for example, if a woman is obese or a woman has poorly controlled diabetes or prior bad chronic hypertension, those are risk factors that increase your risk for having preeclampsia again, in a future pregnancy and thus taking measures to improve upon those risk factors would help lower the risk. In general, when a woman has preeclampsia her risk of having it again is greater compared to somebody who has never had preeclampsia. Likewise, a woman who has had preeclampsia and then switches partners and has a new father, also is at increased risk as well for preeclampsia in the future, and women who have severe preeclampsia, for example, such as HELLP syndrome, also have a much greater risk for having some form of preeclampsia again in their next pregnancy. Well, the general obstetric community, all practicing obstetricians are trained to be able to recognize preeclampsia and should be able to help women with mild forms of disease. Usually women get referred to our maternal-fetal center here at Banner Good Samaritan and a maternal-fetal medicine specialist become involved when women have much more severe types of preeclampsia whereby it may force early delivery of the infant or moms get so sick that they require other backup services such as the ICU or a kidney specialist, for example, to kind of help them with their issues.