Signs & Symptoms of Toxemia During Pregnancy


According to, toxemia affects about 3 percent to 8 percent of pregnant women. Toxemia is now more commonly known as preeclampsia, a condition that occurs when a pregnant woman has both extremely high blood pressure readings--over 140/90--and protein in her urine. It can occur anytime after the 20th week of pregnancy, but most often occurs after the 37th week. Preeclampsia can threaten the lives of both the mother and the baby. The only cure for preeclampsia is immediate delivery of the baby.


  • Sudden swelling is one of the first signs of toxemia. The face, hands, ankles and feet may swell significantly.

Weight Gain

  • Sudden swelling will result in weight gain. A gain of more than 4 pounds in a week's time may indicate toxemia.


  • Toxemia may cause a severe headache that does not go away.

Vision Problems

  • Women with toxemia may experience blurry vision, double vision or even vision loss for a short period of time. Some also may see flashing lights or spots, while others may be sensitive to light.

Stomach Upset

  • Toxemia may cause nausea, and even vomiting.

Abdominal Pain

  • Severe toxemia may result in intense pain in the upper abdominal area.


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