Pre-eclampsia Screening

This screening test is done during the first trimester (11 to 14 weeks) to identify if you are at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia particularly before 37 weeks gestation.  This is pregnancy induced high blood pressure and occurs in around 2 – 8% of pregnancies. It is one of the most common life threating conditions in pregnancy.

Identifying high risk of developing this condition could potentially improve your pregnancy outcome because better maternal and baby monitoring can lead to prevention of disease or earlier detection so you can be managed appropriately.

This screening test is usually done at the same time with the screening test for Down’s.

What are the risk factors for developing pre-eclampsia?

 The risk factors are:

  • Your ethnicity, age, blood pressure measurements,
  • If it is your first pregnancy, number of pregnancies, or the first pregnancy with your partner
  • Obesity
  • Previous history of pre-eclampsia or family history of pre-eclampsia

Patient’s characteristics in combination with uterine artery measurements and blood tests are used to calculate the risk of developing pre-eclampsia.

What does it mean if you screen positive?

This doesn’t mean that you have pre-eclampisa, the chance of developing this condition is still low, if you are properly treated. It does mean that all your healthcare professionals need be informed and they will ensure that your blood pressure and urine is checked regularly. This may lead to a change in your model of care during pregnancy.