Apr 06, 2011 No Comments
No one knows for sure what causes Preeclampsia, though there are a number of theories:
- A genetic link. Researchers hypothesize that the genetic makeup of the fetus could be one of the factors that predisposes a pregnancy to preeclampsia. So, if your mother or our spouse’s mother had preeclampsia during their pregnancies with either of you, you are somewhat more likely to have preeclampsia during your pregnancies.
- A blood vessel defect. It has been suggested that this defect causes the blood vessels in some women to constrict during pregnancy instead of widen. As a result of this vessel defect, theorize researchers, there is a drop in the blood supply to organs like the kidney and liver, leading to preeclampsia. The fact that women who experience preeclampsia during pregnancy are at an increased risk later in life of having some sort of cardiovascular condition also seems to indicate that the condition may be the result of a predisposition in some women to high blood pressure.
- Gum disease. Pregnant women with severe gum disease are more than twice as likely to also have preeclampsia compared to women with healthy gums. Experts theorize that the infection causing the periodontal disease may travel to the placenta or produce chemicals that can cause preeclampsia. Still, it is not known if periodontal disease causes preeclampsia or if it is just associated with it.
- An immune response to a foreign intruder : baby. This theory implies that the woman’s body becomes “allergic” to the baby and placenta. This “allergy” causes a reaction in the mother’s body that can damage her blood vessels. The more similar the father’s and mother’s genetic markers, the more likely this immune response will occur.