Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Eclampsia (Seizures) and Preeclampsia
Eclampsia is pregnancy-related seizure activity that is
caused by severe
preeclampsia. Less than 1% of women who have
preeclampsia experience seizures.footnote 1 Eclampsia is
life-threatening for both a mother and her fetus. During a seizure, the oxygen
supply to the fetus is drastically reduced.
Sudden seizures can
occur before, during, or (rarely) up to 6 weeks after delivery (postpartum).
Postpartum seizures are most common during the first 48 hours after
If you have eclampsia, your doctor will give you medicine (such as magnesium sulfate) to prevent a seizure from happening again and to control your blood pressure. The doctor will wait until your health is stable before delivering your baby.
A woman with eclampsia
has a type of seizure called a grand mal seizure, which begins with a sudden
loss of consciousness.
Habli M, Sibai BM (2008). Hypertensive disorders of
pregnancy. In RS Gibbs et al., eds., Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology, 10th ed., pp. 257–275. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerWilliam Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital