Hellp Syndrome in Pregnancy – Knowing All About It

In case you have heard about Hellp syndrome in pregnancy you should know that it is a complication that is associated with eclampsia or preeclampsia. Usually it appears in the more serious cases, and about 10% of the women with such problems will also develop Hellp syndrome.

Information about Hellp syndrome and being pregnant

The name of the syndrome is actually an anagram referring to the symptoms of the condition – hemolysis, elevated liver enzyme and low platelet count. In case you have problems with preeclampsia, most probably your doctor or midwife will make you have some extra tests to rule out Hellp syndrome.

When doctors are faced with women having Hellp syndrome and being pregnant they could ask for blood tests and also for a 24 hour urine analysis. The blood work is ordered to check the platelet count and the liver enzymes. During a physical exam the doctor may find that your abdomen is tender, suggesting liver enlargement.

Hellp Syndrome in Pregnancy

Signs of Hellp syndrome in pregnancy

Besides the signs that have been mentioned before, the patients could also experience nausea that is accompanied or not by vomiting. It is possible for the condition to be mistaken for something else. If you don’t get better you should talk to your doctor about the diagnosis and the treatment.

Some other symptoms of women having Hellp syndrome and being pregnant include a general feeling of illness, and also pain in the upper part of the abdomen. It is also common to see increased fluid in the tissues, also known as edema. In this case protein can also be found in the urine of patients.

Patients affected by Hellp syndrome in pregnancy could have high blood pressure. Their blood sugar level could drop significantly, in some cases leading to coma caused by hypoglycemia.

In case of having Hellp syndrome and being pregnant it is important to start the treatment at an early stage for the best results for the baby and you. It is possible that you will need induced labor or a C section, depending on the severity of your symptoms and your location.

When it comes to Hellp syndrome in pregnancy you should also think about the fact that all this could happen even if the baby is still premature. This is because Hellp could get worse and it can be treated only at birth. Early treatment is vital because in some cases women could have long lasting side effects, such as liver damage.

If you are thinking about women having Hellp syndrome and being pregnant, keep in mind that the effects of the condition on the baby depend on the gestational age and on the length and seriousness of the condition in case of the mother.

Course of action

In case of Hellp syndrome in pregnancy, the first thing that the doctors have to think about is addressing the clotting problems of the patients. In case the condition stops the baby from developing normally, urgent delivery is needed. In case the condition appears after the 34th week, the treatment is urgent delivery.

The same thing happens in case of women having Hellp syndrome and being pregnant in case their health is endangered by the condition or if the lungs of the baby are mature at the time of diagnosis. After childbirth the doctors need to monitor the mother closely.

There are some possible complications caused by Hellp syndrome in pregnancy, such as liver rupture, bleeding, anemia, and, in severe cases, the condition could cause the death of patients. It is possible for the condition to appear after giving birth to the baby.


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