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Recognizing stroke symptoms when pregnant

A stroke is a serious event that can occur during pregnancy. Of every 100,000 pregnant women, two to 70 of them will have a stroke, depending on the source of information. This may make strokes appear rare, but this indicates that every year several thousand women experience a stroke either during pregnancy or in the first few weeks after birth. More importantly, a stroke causes 10% of deaths associated with pregnancy.

About 10% of strokes occur before delivery, while 40% occur during the birth process. The rest occur after the birth of a baby, generally within six weeks postpartum.

Symptoms during pregnancy

In general, the symptoms of a stroke during or after pregnancy are similar to other stroke symptoms. However, some of the specific stroke symptoms seen during or after pregnancy may differ slightly from the general stroke. Among them:

  • Headache : a headache that does not want to disappear may be a sign of a stroke. This is common in stroke caused by cerebral venous thrombosis. Usually this headache is more intense, or last longer, from headaches generally. You should see your doctor if you have headaches accompanied by double vision, weakness, numbness, and general stroke symptoms. Another type of headache you should always be aware of and go to the hospital immediately if it happens is a 'thunderclap' headache.
  • Double vision: double vision is a symptom of a rare stroke, but may occur in cerebral venous thrombosis or cerebral aneurysm. In both cases, it is always accompanied by a headache.
  • Dizziness or vertigo: high blood pressure can greatly affect the function of blood vessels in the back of the brain, some of which control the balance. And women who suffer from high blood pressure during pregnancy can suffer a stroke - the first symptoms are dizziness and / or vertigo. The stroke can also cause nausea or vomiting.
  • Blurred vision: because the occipital lobe, which processes visual sensors in the brain located in the back of the brain, high blood pressure in pregnant women can also cause blurry vision. This usually occurs as a result of posterior syndrome of reversible leukoencephalopathy.
  • Convulsions: Seizures can occur in any type of stroke. In fact, seizures are the first sign of a small percentage of all stroke types. However, seizures can be a common symptom of posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy and hemorrhagic stroke, both of which can occur when you have high blood pressure. Although rare, the stroke may last either during or after pregnancy.
  • Confusion or lethargy: Severe bleeding or swelling in the brain can cause extreme sleepiness and / or confusion. This can occur due to posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy, cerebral venous thrombosis, high blood pressure, and other forms of stroke in pregnancy.

It is important to seek medical help when you experience these symptoms, so that the doctor can decide the cause.


Several risk factors for stroke in pregnancy are the same as triggers in other strokes, which are older age, obesity, migraine, smoking, and heart disease. But some risk factors are specific to pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension (high blood pressure), and increased post-partum hemorrhage. Hypertension is particularly important, given that one-third of pregnancy-related strokes are associated with high blood pressure.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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