Pregnancy follow-up: what is proteinuria?
Proteinuria refers to the presence of protein in the urine. Most of the time, this situation is safe, but it can also be a sign of a larger problem that will be dealt with efficiently. Explanations.
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Proteinuria, what is it?
- Proteinuria is the scientific term used to describe the presence of protein in the urine. Usually, the urine does not contain proteins because the kidneys are loaded upstream to filter them. When protein is found in the urine, it means that the kidneys do not fulfill their function correctly, so they let pass proteins into the urine. The best known of these proteins is albumin.
- The reasons for this deficiency are varied: it can be a small kidney failure linked to a virus, a urinary infection. However, proteinuria may be related to more severe problems such as high blood pressure or a severe impairment of renal function. In all cases, the presence of proteins in the urine is a kidney problem.
- To refine the diagnosis, urine can be collected over 24 hours to verify proteinuria. If this is proven, tests to explore renal function will be proposed.
- Proteinuria is asymptomatic and is revealed during routine monitoring. In pregnant women, it is therefore essential to detect a proteinuria every month.
Proteinuria and Pregnancy: Why Do You Need to Control Your Urine Every Month?
- Each month, the pregnant woman must carry out a urine test to detect the presence of proteins in the urine. Many pregnant women have a little proteinuria, especially in the second trimester of pregnancy.
- While it is not uncommon to find traces of protein in the urine of a pregnant woman, the presence of these molecules must be monitored. Proteinuria may be associated with elevated blood pressure and significant swelling of the hands and face (related to protein loss). Indeed, these edema are caused by the leakage of proteins out of the body, which causes water retention, particularly visible in the limbs and head. This edema and hypertension may be a sign of a severe pathology, pre-eclampsia, which can complicate childbirth.
- Fortunately, with routine urinalysis performed every month, pre-eclampsia is diagnosed rapidly, and effective treatments can prevent complications.
- In cases where pre-eclampsia is marked, childbirth can be triggered to avoid any problems for the expectant mother and the infant.
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