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I am 30 years old, female, moderately overweight at 160 pounds. Since age 19 I've been under treatment for a hypertensive disorder and a linked anxiety disorder. BP soars to life-threatening levels when in pain or under extreme stress, regardless of medication. Phenochromocytoma and renal stenosis have already been ruled out as well as coarctation of the aorta. Hypertension has been reclassified as essential and treatment continues. Medication only reduces to 140/90 with periodic adjustments required to keep it even that low. Hypertension has been unaffected by lifestyle changes: I reduced salt intake, quit smoking years ago, changed my diet, and have lost 20 pounds in the past year. I have been hospitalized once and in the office countless times; I've been seen by a nephrologist, vascular surgeon and endocrinologist. Husband and I want to have a baby; doctors say go ahead, hypertension is essential and managed by medication. I want to be sure before I get pregnant. Any advice?


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replied October 30th, 2009
High Blood Pressure and Hypertension Answer A7695
You want to know whether you can have a baby although you have been diagnosed with essential hypertension.

Hypertension is a medical term for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is termed "essential" when there is no particular reason for its appearance.

According to the symptoms you describe, hypertension is controllable. Although the blood pressure is variable during the day, you might consider having a baby. While being pregnant you may follow the lifestyle changes that you had already made. You might also consider seeing a doctor more often during the pregnancy to check on hypertension.

Please keep in mind that I am trying to provide you with medical information here. I am not able to give you medical advice online. Please contact your doctor or a qualified healthcare provider such as cardiologist and gynecologist for regular exams before and during pregnancy as well as to learn more about treatment options.
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