Pregnancy / Childbirth

Pregnancy cholestasis


Pregnancy cholestasis (WWC) is a disease that occurs in about 1-4% of pregnant women. It is manifested by intrahepatic bile stasis and liver dysfunction.

Expectant mother is usually worried itchy skin. After reporting to a specialist in research is obtained increased levels of bile acids, bilirubin and transaminases in the blood serum. After delivery, the disease goes away on its own and has no effect on liver function. However, it is dangerous in pregnancy: not for mother, but for a child and must be monitored.

Causes of cholestasis in pregnancy

Cholestasis in pregnancy is a serious condition. Don't ignore him!

Currently, most doctors recognize that pregnancy cholestasis is genetic (some also point to the link between this disease and diet). The immediate cause of cholestasis is hypersensitivity to the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. Most cases occur in the last trimester when hormone levels are highest.

Factors that increase your risk of pregnancy cholestasis

  • multiple pregnancy
  • mother or sister cholestasis
  • history of liver disease
  • cholestasis in a previous pregnancy (70% of women relapse again in the next pregnancy).

Symptoms of cholestasis in pregnant women

Pregnancy cholestasis is most often manifested as follows:

  • severe itching of the hands, feet and stomach (and even face) that occurs after 30 weeks of pregnancy (less often before 20 weeks of pregnancy),
  • itching usually stronger at night
  • itching can also be mild and well tolerated by a pregnant woman,
  • liver enlargement
  • jaundice, approximately 1-4 weeks after the itching has gone
  • increased risk of postpartum hemorrhage (poorer absorption of vitamin K responsible for clotting).

Itchy skin during pregnancy and other diseases

Itching in pregnancy does not necessarily mean cholestasis. It may indicate other diseases, namely: allergies, scabies, mycoses. In addition, the disease can have varying degrees of severity of symptoms, so to diagnose it is necessary to carry out liver tests that allow to determine whether the disease occurs in a pregnant woman and to what extent.

Pregnancy cholestasis: threats

Cholestasis in a pregnant woman increases the risk of:

  • state of emergency of the fetus,
  • faster aging of the bearing,
  • premature delivery
  • birth of a dead child.

For these reasons, it is so important to quickly recognize and start treatment. The WWC found may be an indication for induction of labor and for Caesarean section.

Treatment of cholestasis in pregnancy

Treatment of cholestasis in pregnancy is aimed at reducing itching through use topical medicines. Secondly it belongs monitor your pregnancy more closely to counteract possible complications: mainly by assessing the well-being of the fetus.

Most women with cholestasis are sent to the hospital for pregnancy pathologies, where their condition is monitored on an ongoing basis. In addition, the key is also to change the diet and adapt it to the capacity of the burdened liver. First of all, the exclusion of fatty, heavy meals, the elimination of carbonated drinks and sweets.

The occurrence of pregnancy cholestasis by some doctors is considered a contraindication to the use of hormonal contraception.

Detailed information on gestational cholestasis can be found here.