What is it?

HELLP syndrome is a pregnancy complication. It is a type of preeclampsia. It usually occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy. But it also can develop in the first week after childbirth (postpartum preeclampsia).
The name HELLP syndrome stands for:
H: Hemolysis, breaking down of red blood cells (cells that carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body).
EL: Elevated liver enzymes (chemicals that speed up body reactions, such as breaking down proteins).
LP: Low platelet count (parts of your blood that help with clotting).

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Signs & symptoms

Women may notice HELLP syndrome symptoms while they are pregnant or shortly after childbirth. Signs of HELLP syndrome include:
* The most common symptom is abdominal pain, usually in the right upper quadrant or mid-epigastric area.
* Blurred vision.
* Malaise or fatigue.
* Edema (swelling) and quick weight gain.
* Nausea and vomiting.
* Less commonly, blurred vision or headache.

In rare cases, you may also experience:
* Uncontrolled nosebleeds.
* Seizures or uncontrollable body shakes.


To diagnose HELLP syndrome, the doctor will ask you about physical changes such as:
* Belly pain, especially in the upper right side.
* Leg swelling.
Often, blood pressure can be elevated and there can be proteinuria but there doesn’t have to be. Your healthcare provider will order blood tests are ordered to check your blood count, liver function and kidney function.

In severe cases, your healthcare provider may use an ultrasound or CT scan to check for an enlarged liver or bleeding in your liver.


Managing HELLP syndrome may include taking medications to lower your blood pressure and prevent seizures. Some women require a blood transfusion. In this treatment, you receive donated blood or blood components.
Ultimately, treatment for HELLP syndrome is delivery. If you have HELLP syndrome, you may need to deliver your baby early. Your provider may give your baby corticosteroids to help their lungs develop.
the doctor may give you medicine to induce labor. Or you may need to deliver with a cesarean birth (C-section).

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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