HELLP syndrome is a rare but life-threatening condition in pregnancy. It causes red cells in the blood to break down. It also causes problems with the liver, bleeding, and blood pressure. It is often linked with preeclampsia and eclampsia. It often develops before delivery. But it may also occur after delivery. The letters in the word HELLP stand for:
Doctors do not know what causes HELLP syndrome.
You are more likely to get HELLP syndrome if you:
These are the most common symptoms of HELLP syndrome:
The symptoms of HELLP syndrome may look like other health conditions. These include other high blood pressure problems in pregnancy. Always see your doctor for a diagnosis.
Your doctor will review your health history and do a physical exam. Other tests include:
Treatment may include:
You may deliver your baby early if HELLP syndrome gets worse and puts the health of you or your baby in danger.
Complications may include:
If HELLP syndrome is severe, you and your baby may be in danger. You may need to deliver the baby early to prevent more problems. It may take several days after delivery to recover from HELLP syndrome.
Watching for signs of HELLP syndrome may help prevent some complications. Learning about the warning signs can help you get early treatment and prevent the disease from getting worse.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider: