Toxemia is an old name for a disease process in pregnancy known as preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is characterized by elevated blood pressure, swelling, and protein in the urine. In its most severe form women may notice headaches, blurred vision, right-side abdominal pain, or spots in front of their eyes. Pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia can result in adverse outcomes for both the fetus (including growth restriction and in the worst case death) and the mother (including seizures and in the worst case death). Therefore, you will be monitored very closely if you have been diagnosed with preeclampsia during your pregnancy. Depending on the circumstances it may be recommended that you deliver your baby early. The ultimate cure for preeclampsia is delivery of the infant.

The cause of preeclampsia is unknown and there is no means of preventing its occurrence at this time. It has been shown that first time pregnancies are at increased risk for developing preeclampsia.