You normally should have the protein as Negative. A Trace is also acceptable.
+1 becomes an alarm sign, and a +2 or more is enough to diagnose preeclampsia.
The dipstick is a qualitative result, not quantitative, and not very precise as it depends on the time of the day and the concentration of urine. It can give both false positives and false negatives.
The women that were induced at a +1 were most likely having high blood pressure or had preeclampsia before or where late enough in pregnancy that the baby and mother would be better delivered than pregnant just waiting for preeclampsia to happen. There is no reason to wait for a full blown preeclampsia or maybe HELLP when the baby's lungs are mature enough to survive outside.
A more precise measurement of protein is the 24h test, where they ask you to pee in a jar for a whole day. This measurement can be:
- <150 mg / 24h - normal
- 150-300 mg/24h - elevated
- >300 mg/24h - preeclampsia is diagnosed
- >3000 mg/24h - nephritic range (kidneys are seriously damaged that a nephrologist should be consulted)
- >5000 mg/24h - severe preeclampsia is diagnosed.
The kidneys should filter almost all the protein in the blood. When they don't it is the first sign that they are having a problem.
Once you have preeclampsia, it is expoected to have remaining protein in urine after delivery until the kidneys are completely healed. My doctor had me wait for 6 months before having another 24h, and as it was still abnormal send me to a nephrologist.
In order to allow the kidneys to heal, you need to keep the blood pressure low at all times. The 140/90 limit for the blood pressure in a patient without kidney disease or diabetes or other chronic disease is decreased to 130/80 for someone with kidney disease.
Now, you need to know that a +2 doesn't mean you have a kidney disease. They ususally diagnose this at levels higher than 1000 mg/24h, but you need to watch it. (I only have about 220mg, and all I do is take a blood pressure medicine to keep the PBs in control).
My doctor advised me to not try to get pregnant again before the kidneys heal completely, but I had it really severe and awfully early.
Hope this helps. I am not a doctor, but the above might help you to have a more meaningfull dicussion with your doctor.
How's Ashley doing? Hope you have great holidays!
Angel stillborn 24w p-e 2/17/03