Stroke is a neurological emergency and a major cause of sequelae and mortality in women. By definition, ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow from the brain is interrupted and tissue dies. In the hemorrhagic stroke, a rupture of the vessels occurs and the brain is damaged by the dispersion of blood in the brain tissue associated with edema and increased intracranial pressure.
Is Stroke Frequent in Pregnancy?
Stroke can happen to anyone at any point in your life. Although the number of strokes in women of childbearing age is low, pregnant women and women in the postpartum period are at increased risk due to a number of different factors that alter the body's cardiovascular dynamics and coagulation mechanisms. In order to prevent postpartum haemorrhage there is a physiological increase in the tendency to form clots, constituting a thromboembolic risk factor.
Recent data show that the incidence of stroke in pregnancy is increasing. There are risk factors that increase the likelihood of pregnancy, including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, valvular heart disease, inherited and acquired thrombophilia, sickle cell anemia, lupus, tobacco and other substance abuse and migraines.
Complications in pregnancy and childbirth may also increase the risk of having a stroke: hyperemesis gravidarum, severe anemia, thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), postpartum haemorrhage especially in need of blood transfusion, infection , pre-eclampsia and postpartum cardiomyopathy. Advanced maternal age, an increasingly frequent situation in society, is also a risk factor for stroke.
What are the signs and symptoms of stroke in pregnancy?
The diagnosis of stroke in pregnancy is not always immediate because fear of diagnostic imaging affects the baby. In view of the high diagnostic suspicion, the benefits of its realization outweigh the risks and should be performed (CT and / or MRI, transthoracic echocardiography and echo-Doppler) in order to allow immediate intervention and improve the clinical prognosis of the mother.