Signs & Symptoms of High Blood Pressure in Women

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a problem that 13% of women under 44 and half of women in their 60s suffer from, according to Harvard Medical School 1. Since high blood pressure can lead to problems like stroke, kidney failure or heart disease, recognizing the signs of high blood pressure is integral to your well-being. Unfortunately, most women experience no symptoms of high blood pressure until it is too late.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Dull Headaches

The Mayo Clinic cites dull headaches as one of the symptoms of high blood pressure 2. They warn that experiencing headaches as a result of high blood pressure usually occurs in the late stages of the disease. By the time you begin getting headaches because of high blood pressure, your life could be at risk. Headaches that occur upon waking are the type most commonly associated with high blood pressure.


Nosebleeds that occur more frequently than normal may also be one of the signs of high blood pressure in women. As with headaches, nosebleeds caused by high blood pressure don't usually occur until the late stages of the disease. The Mayo Clinic recommends having your blood pressure tested in two-year intervals beginning at age 20 so you can't catch the problem before it's too late 2.

Risk Factors

The CDC refers to high blood pressure as a "silent killer" since women with high blood pressure don't experience symptoms until the condition becomes a problem. Instead of relying on physical symptoms of high blood pressure as an indicator, consider the risk factors for high blood pressure. If you or a family member fall into a high-risk category, have your blood pressure tested as soon as possible.

The Rush University Medical Center lists high-risk factors for high blood pressure as ethnicity, specifically African Americans in the Southeast United States; women in their middle to elder stages of life; obesity; women who take oral contraceptives; people who drink large amounts of alcoholic beverages; people with a family history of high blood pressure; and those who suffer from conditions like kidney disease, diabetes or gout.