Pregnancy Home > Can Preeclampsia Be Treated?

Can preeclampsia be treated? While the only cure for preeclampsia is giving birth, the condition can occur early in pregnancy, when other treatment options are needed. In this case, if the woman's blood pressure is not too high, preeclampsia can be treated with bed rest and a low-salt diet. She may also be hospitalized for observation, or her preeclampsia can be treated with blood pressure medication.

Can Preeclampsia Be Treated? -- An Introduction

Can preeclampsia be treated? While the only definite cure for preeclampsia is delivering the fetus, preeclampsia can occur early in pregnancy. In those cases, delivery may not be the best preeclampsia treatment option. In this situation, your doctor may develop a plan with you to try and safely prolong your pregnancy to allow the fetus to further develop while closely monitoring you for signs that the fetus should be delivered, even prematurely, if necessary. The decision whether or not to deliver can be difficult; it requires that the mother be watched closely, often in the hospital, as a precaution.

Can Preeclampsia Be Treated? -- Treatment Early in Pregnancy

If the doctor suspects a woman of having preeclampsia but her blood pressure is not very high, he or she may recommend several days of bed rest. Another aspect of preeclampsia treatment may include a no-added-salt diet. If this early treatment of preeclampsia is successful in reducing blood pressure and weight gain, no further treatment may be necessary, except for the continuation of the no-added-salt diet and more frequent prenatal care.

Can Preeclampsia Be Treated?: More Severe Cases

If the pregnant woman does not respond to early preeclampsia treatment or has more severe preeclampsia symptoms, the doctor may recommend a stay in the hospital for a couple of days to see if symptoms improve in a more controlled environment.
The doctor may also prescribe blood pressure medication for women with more severe preeclampsia. For women who are more than 36 weeks pregnant or those women whose symptoms cannot be controlled, the doctor may recommend delivering the baby. During labor and delivery, preeclampsia treatment may also include antiseizure medication. This medication will be continued for 24 hours after delivery in order to prevent seizures.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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