Pre-eclampsia Self-Screening

Hypertensive Disorders

Hypertensive (high blood pressure) disorders of pregnancy are a major cause of poor pregnancy outcomes in both Canada and internationally. These disorders encompass pre-existing hypertensiongestational hypertension (develops during pregnancy) and preeclampsiaPreeclampsia develops when an individual has high blood pressure and involvement of other organ systems, such as liver dysfunction. This is risky for both the health of the pregnant person and baby.

Low-Dose Aspirin Therapy

A substantial amount of research suggests that low dose Aspirin (162 mg) taken by an at-risk pregnant person daily until 36 weeks of pregnancy is effective in reducing the risk of developing preeclampsia. Based on available evidence, low-dose aspirin therapy is not associated with any short- or long-term adverse outcomes. It is not beneficial for low-risk individuals. 

 Read this article for more information regarding low-dose aspirin therapy in reducing the risk of preeclampsia.

Am I at risk?

If you have one of the following risk factors:

  • History of hypertensive disease in previous pregnancy
  • Autoimmune disease (e.g., Systemic Lupus)
  • Chronic hypertension 
  • Chronic kidney disease

If you have two or more of the following risk factors:

  • First pregnancy
  • Age 40 or older
  • Pre-pregnancy BMI 35 or greater
  • Multiple pregnancy (i.e., twins)
  • Family history of pre-eclampsia
  • Previous low birth weight baby at term (=<2.5 kg/5.5 lbs) 
  • 10-year pregnancy interval
  • African-Caribbean descent

Your midwife will have you complete a self-screening tool prior to your first appointment. If low-dose aspirin therapy is indicated, she will discuss the appropriate plan of care for you based on your risk factors.