Pre-eclampsia Screening

What is pre-eclampsia screening?

During pregnancy, many complications can arise for women as they carry the baby. The mother's health can have an impact on the baby and the pregnancy as a whole. Pre-eclampsia is one such condition that can occur. Pre-eclampsia screening is very important because, without timely treatment of the condition, it can turn fatal for the baby and the mother. Timely pre-eclampsia screening is recommended for a safe pregnancy with proper planning. During the second half of a pregnancy, many women are at risk of developing preeclampsia. Screening gives the doctor time to plan your birth so that there are no complications.

When is pre-eclampsia screening recommended?

Not every woman suffers from pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. However, there are some signs and symptoms that could be early signs of pre-eclampsia. The most prevalent signs in the mother are as follows:

  • Proteinuria: Excess protein in the urine is a sign of pre-eclampsia. If you had kidney problems in the past, then pre-eclampsia might set in during pregnancy.
  • Decreased level of platelets: A low level of platelets can be a sure-shot sign of preeclampsia.
  • Severe headaches: If you are facing severe, persistent headaches, get a consultation from your ob-gyn.
  • Vision changes: If you suffer from blurry vision or even a temporary loss of vision, it can be a serious sign of pre-eclampsia.
  • Shortness of breath, hyperventilation, and breath loss can be due to pulmonary problems and lung oedema from pre-eclampsia.

What are the causes of preeclampsia?

Research is still going on about the exact causes of pre-eclampsia. According to research, the most common reason for pre-eclampsia is placental dysfunction and irregularities in the blood circulation between the foetus and the mother. In a healthy placental connection, new blood cells develop and provide oxygen to the fetus. However, in pre-eclampsia conditions, the level of new blood cells created and circulated by the placenta goes down. The irregular circulation of blood through the placenta also affects the circulation pattern of the mother and leads to high blood pressure and other complications. Women who are carrying twins or more children in one pregnancy are more at risk for pre-eclampsia. Women who are diabetic also have a higher risk of pre-eclampsia development. Women with higher body mass indices also have a higher risk of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.

What happens during the screening for pre-eclampsia?

There are many tests that the doctor suggests if he thinks that you might have pre-eclampsia. A dipstick urine test is the easiest routine test for a doctor to do. It checks the amount of protein in the urine. A high level of protein means the screening test for pre-eclampsia needs to be done.

In the first 20–35 weeks of pregnancy, the doctor might suggest a blood test if there are chances of pre-eclampsia. Through the blood test, the doctor monitors the level of the placental growth factor. If the factor is lower in volume, then there is a chance you have pre-eclampsia.

The pre-eclampsia screening test involves an ultrasound scan that monitors the blood flow volume through the placenta. The doctor also looks at the medical and pregnancy histories of the mother to know if pre-eclampsia is possible. PAPP, a maternal blood marker, and placental growth factor are also monitored. The procedure is non-invasive and does not have many risks.

Preparation for the test

The test for pre-eclampsia is accurate 90% of the time and can help keep problems from happening. The mother does not have to prepare for the test very much. The doctor will counsel you in the case of a positive result and talk to you about the approach for the rest of the pregnancy. If the test results come up negative, you do not have pre-eclampsia, and the pregnancy is normal.

When should I see the doctor?

During your pregnancy, you will have to visit the ob-gyn specialist for prenatal tests and monitoring. Make sure you consult an experienced gynaecologist and go to a good maternity hospital for your pregnancy and childbirth. Make sure you go to all the prenatal appointments. Pre-eclampsia screening can be done for any pregnant woman, and it is better to screen at least once. Right from the start of your pregnancy, you should consult a gynaecologist and an obstetrics specialist.


Pre-eclampsia happens to 1 in 50 pregnant women, which risks their lives. For a safe pregnancy and childbirth, pre-eclampsia screening at a good fertility clinic or maternity hospital is a must.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, DELHI-NCR - Moti Nagar. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What is the approach for a pre-eclampsia pregnancy?

Early delivery of the child at 37 to 28 weeks is usually recommended for preeclampsia.

2. What are the medications that doctors prescribe for pre-eclampsia management?

Pre-eclampsia pregnancy is treated with blood pressure-lowering medications.

3. What is the risk that comes with pre-eclampsia for the mother?

The mother may develop eclampsia or have fits even after the baby is born.

4. What are the complications for the child if pre-eclampsia is untreated?

Fetal growth will be restricted if pre-eclampsia is not treated on time.

5. Can miscarriage happen due to pre-eclampsia?

Yes, pre-eclampsia comes with a risk of miscarriage if placental abruption happens.

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