FIGO Releases New Guidelines to Combat Pre-Eclampsia

FIGO has today published, “The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Initiative on Pre-eclampsia: A Pragmatic Guide for First-Trimester Screening and Prevention,” the first evidence-based global recommendations for first trimester screening and prevention of pre-eclampsia. These new guidelines were developed by the FIGO Pregnancy and Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs) Committee to address pre-eclampsia – a critical component in preventing NCDs, reducing maternal mortality, and improving women’s health outcomes long term. 

“FIGO is pleased to launch our first evidence-based guidelines to support first trimester screening and prevention of pre-eclampsia. Health is a human right, and every woman, wherever she lives, deserves the highest standards of health and wellbeing. These guidelines provide another essential tool to health professionals, health policy makers and FIGO’s 132 member societies in addressing the NCD epidemic long-term, and accelerating progress in reducing maternal mortality.” Carlos Fuchtner, President, FIGO

The guidelines, established with support from PerkinElmer, Inc., recommend that all countries adopt universal screening of pregnant women for pre-term PE at 11-13+4 weeks’ gestation by including pre-eclampsia risk assessment as an integral part of basic first-trimester evaluation protocol. All pregnant women should be screened for pre-term pre-eclampsia during the first trimester, using a combined, one-step test of maternal risk factors and four key biomarkers: mean arterial pressure (MAP), uterine artery pulsatility index, placental growth factor and serum pregnancy associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A). However, if resources are limited, maternal risk factors and MAP should be evaluated at a minimum in all pregnancies. 

“PerkinElmer is honored to support FIGO as it drives global awareness of NCDs and the importance of identifying conditions early in a woman’s pregnancy. We believe all mothers should be assessed in their first trimester for pre-eclampsia, and a combined screening program is the most effective way to identify high-risk women. FIGO’s newly released guidelines underscore both these tenets. We look forward to further supporting the Pregnancy and NCD Committee, as well as other global initiatives related to the health of expectant mothers and their developing babies.” Linh Hoang, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President, Reproductive Health, PerkinElmer


Globally, 76,000 women and 500,000 babies die each year from pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, making this disorder one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal mortality. Unfortunately, changing demographics mean that more women are entering pregnancy with risk factors that make them vulnerable to this complication. The life expectancy of women who developed pre-term pre-eclampsia, requiring delivery at <37 weeks, is reduced on average by 10 years.

Many high-burden countries do not screen for pre-term pre-eclampsia in pregnancy or only rely on the less accurate maternal risk factors. This approach to screening is inadequate for the effective prediction of pre-eclampsia.

“Early screening and preventive care is only possible if women attend antenatal care. For this we require universal access to easily available and convenient antenatal services and to ensure women of reproductive age are aware of the need and availability of these services. A critical task for all stakeholders is to ensure that this fundamental requirement is in place and every effort must be made to advocate for this.” Professor Moshe Hod, Chair of the FIGO Pregnancy and NCDs Committee

FIGO believes all countries have a duty to implement the best pre-eclampsia testing and management practices they can, and proposes that pregnancy be seen as offering a window of opportunity for establishing services, improving maternal and newborn child health, and preventing transmission of non-communicable diseases. FIGO calls for public health measures to increase acceptability, affordability, accessibility and quality of antenatal care – removing barriers so all women can benefit from a prenatal assessment in the first trimester. 


About FIGO

FIGO is a professional organisation that brings together 132 obstetrical and gynecological associations from all over the world.

Our vision is that women of the world achieve the highest possible standards of physical, mental, reproductive and sexual health and wellbeing throughout their lives, we lead on global programme activities, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.

FIGO advocates on a global stage, especially in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pertaining to reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and non-communicable diseases (SDG3). We also work to raise the status of women and enable their active participation to achieve their reproductive and sexual rights, including addressing FGM and gender based violence (SDG5).

We also provide education and training for our Member Societies and build capacities of those from low-resource countries through strengthening leadership, good practice and promotion of policy dialogues.

We are in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and a consultative status with the United Nations (UN).

For further information, read our guidelines and please contact:

Jennifer Crago
Director Communications, Advocacy & Publications
Tel: +44 (0)7383 025 731
Email:   @FIGOHQ

Brian Willinsky, PerkinElmer
Global Public Relations Leader
Tel: +1 (781) 663 5728