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What is pregnancy-induced hypertension?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) is defined as the development of new onset hypertension in a pregnant woman after 20 weeks gestation without the presence of protein in the urine. This condition is also referred to as gestational hypertension.

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), also called preeclampsia or toxemia is a problem that can occur during pregnancy. This condition causes your blood pressure to rise above a normal level. This leads to swelling because of water retention and excess amounts of protein in your urine. Left untreated and unmonitored, PIH can produce difficulties for both you and your child.

There are several terms for this condition: preeclampsia, toxemia or PIH (for "pregnancy-induced hypertension"). They all refer to the same thing: high blood pressure caused by pregnancy that appears after 20 weeks. PIH can be mild or severe. When it is severe, it affects the mother's circulatory system, kidneys, brain and other vital organs. Pregnant women can be very sick if PIH is severe.

Pregnancy-induced hypertension can be basic as high blood pressure to more serious issues like preeclampsia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.