Women are more likely to suffer from hypertension because they have by nature smaller arteries than men. And even a high-normal blood pressure of 130 over 85 can actually double a middle-aged woman’s cardiovascular risk. Considering this, women have to be aware of what causes hypertension in them in order to keep their blood pressure levels in check.
Birth control pills can slightly elevate blood pressure. This is a risk factor particularly for women with a family history of hypertension, past history of kidney disease, obesity or gestational hypertension. Therefore, check your numbers regularly if you take oral contraceptives.
Pregnant women may develop gestational hypertension, which goes away after delivery. It happens because the increased blood volume is necessary for nurturing a growing fetus. Readings of 140 over 90 and higher are considered dangerous for pregnant women, especially if there’s a pre-existing risk or chronic hypertension. Such women may develop complications that lead to preeclampsia. It typically starts in the last 3 months of pregnancy, develops rapidly and is related to increased blood pressure and protein in the woman’s urine.
This can stem from preeclampsia. It usually lasts for 3 months postpartum, although some women may have it for up to 6 months. Another reason can be the shifting of liquids from swollen tissues back to the heart. Extra fluid build-up can occur due to hormonal changes after childbirth, from painkiller effects or IV fluids administered during delivery.
NSAIDs like Ibuprofen (Nurofen) and Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) can cause the body to retain fluid and decrease kidney function. This leads to a rise in blood pressure, placing greater stress on the kidneys and heart. Painkillers, as well as any type of medications and drugs, should be taken under close medical supervision.
Age-related hormonal changes cause arteries to become more constrictive and less elastic contributing to hypertension. It is further complicated by hormone replacement therapy for menopause symptoms. Moreover, women tend to gain weight during menopause that increases the risks of developing high blood pressure. Healthy diet plan and regular physical activity are essential for women who reach menopause.