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Women and Hypertension

Last updated 2 years ago

Many people associate women’s healthcare with obstetrics and gynecology, but may not realize that it also addresses overall wellness, including of the heart and arteries. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the force of blood against the walls of your arteries rises for an extended period of time, forcing your heart to work harder than normal to efficiently pump blood through the body. Hypertension is a common problem in the United States, and the American Heart Association reports that nearly half of all American adults with high blood pressure are women. Keep reading to learn more about how hypertension affects women.

Causes and Risk Factors

Hypertension may be caused by a number of factors, including varying hormones levels, increased salt content, and improper functioning of your kidneys, nervous system, or blood vessels. Additional factors that may increase a woman’s risk for high blood pressure include being overweight, drinking more than one alcoholic beverage per day, having a family history of hypertension, having diabetes, and smoking. Women who are pregnant, have chronic kidney disease, or are taking certain types of birth control pills may also be at a greater risk for high blood pressure.

Signs and Symptoms

High blood pressure often develops with no evident symptoms. However, women suffering from malignant hypertension may experience severe headaches, confusion, vision changes, nausea and vomiting, and nosebleeds.

Associated Complications

It is especially important for pregnant women with high blood pressure to take certain health precautions in order to prevent damage to their organs and reduce the risk of pre-term labor. If you are suffering from high blood pressure and are now pregnant or hope to become pregnant, it is important to limit your salt intake, exercise on a regular basis, maintain a healthy weight, discontinue any use of tobacco, and ask your doctor about blood pressure medications.

Are you concerned about your blood pressure? Make sure that you are not at risk for high-blood pressure or pregnancy complications by contacting the gynecologists and OBGYNs with WomanCare today. Visit us online for more information about our prenatal care services.

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