Information About Toxemia

Now referred to as preeclampsia, according to the Mayo Clinic, toxemia is characterized by excess protein in a pregnant woman's urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy and an increase in blood pressure. If this condition goes untreated, it can prove fatal to you and your baby.

  1. Delivery

    • Delivering the baby as quickly as possible remains the only cure for toxemia because is not possible to deliver a healthy baby otherwise. According to the Mayo Clinic, the earlier toxemia occurs in your pregnancy and the more severe it becomes, the greater the risk to you and your baby.


    • Signs and symptoms of toxemia include severe headaches, changes in your vision, high blood pressure, dizziness, sudden weight gain, vomiting or nausea, upper abdominal area pain and excess protein in your urine. Your hands, face and feet will swell (edema) as a result of toxemia.

    Risk Factors

    • Toxemia or preeclampsia is strictly a pregnancy-related condition. Your risk increases during a first pregnancy, for women younger than 20 or older than 40 who have preexisting conditions such as kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, diabetes or chronic high blood pressure. Other risk factors for developing toxemia include prolonged intervals between pregnancies, multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, etc.), obesity and your age if you have a history of preeclampsia.


    • Complications of this condition include low birth weight babies, preterm birth, lack of oxygen flow to the placenta, placental abruption (placenta separates from the uterus), eclampsia (preeclampsia with seizures), and hemolysis, (the destruction of red blood cells). Other complications include low platelet count and elevated liver enzymes, which can prove life-threatening to you and your baby.


    • Pregnant women exhibiting these symptoms should immediately seek medical attention.

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  • Photo Credit pregnant #3 image by Adam Borkowski from

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