Learn About Cholestasis Of Pregnancy

What is Cholestasis Of Pregnancy

Cholestasis of pregnancy is a liver disorder troubling pregnant females. It causes the flow of bile to slow down,and the bile acids move into their bloodstream. Bile acid may also cross the placenta and reach the baby. This condition needs to be managed,or it may lead to fetal distress, stillbirth, preterm baby meconium passage or maternal hemorrhage.

What is Cholestasis Of Pregnancy

What is Cholestasis Of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a journey with lots of changes in mom’s body. Due to an increase in the level of hormones and growing baby, your skin stretches,and the skin becomes itchy and sensitive. However, if pregnant females experience intensive, persistent and uncontrollable itching, she should take it seriously as these symptoms may be a sign of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.

What IS Intrahepatic Cholestasis Of Pregnancy

Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy is also known as obstetric cholestasis.
Our liver produces bile. Bile is a digestive juice that promotes fat digestion. The bile produced by the liver is stored in gall bladder. In pregnant females suffering from cholestasis of pregnancy due to hormonal changes, the function of the liver is impaired,and bile flow becomes sluggish. It may not cause serious harm to mother,but bile may cross the placenta and reach the baby. Commonly this condition develops in the third trimester as hormone level is at peak during the third trimester. But in some pregnant females, this condition may develop as early as eight weeks.

What Are The Symptoms Of Cholestasis Of Pregnancy

Symptoms of Cholestasis of pregnancy include dark urine, itching, pain in abdomen and pale stools. Itching is more on the soles of feet and palms. Itching is so worse that it disturbs sleep as it gets worse during the night. Also,there is a loss of appetite, general fatigue and dull ache below the rib cage on the right side.

What Causes Cholestasis Of Pregnancy

The exact reason behind cholestasis of pregnancy is not known. But it is considered that a combination of hormonal, environmental and genetic factors may be responsible. A female who has suffered from cholestatic of pregnancy during her previous pregnancy is likely to suffer from recurrence in the next pregnancy.

Risks Associated with Cholestasis Of Pregnancy

Cholestasis of pregnancy typically do not cause developmental issues in a baby or do cause damage to the mother’sliver. But there are chances that cholestasis of pregnancy may increase the chances of fetal distress, preterm baby, meconium passage, maternal hemorrhage, the respiratory issue in newborn and stillbirth.

If you are a pregnant female and you experience the symptom of cholestasis of pregnancy, you should see your gynecologist as soon as possible. A blood test will be done to rule out or confirm cholestasis of pregnancy. If the serum bile acid level is 10 micromol/L or above in pregnant female, cholestasis of pregnancy is confirmed,and management steps will be taken.

Management of Cholestasis of Pregnancy

There is no cure of cholestasis of pregnancy but specific measures are taken to manage it. Your doctor will monitor the function of your liver,and if required certain medications that decrease the level of bile are prescribed.

To relieve itching aqueous cream or calamine lotion that contains methanol can be used. Bathing with cool water may also help.

In some cases,the doctor recommends inducing delivery after 37-38 weeks of gestation. Vitamin K supplement is given if there is an issue with blood clotting.

Females who have suffered from cholestasis of pregnancy are at slightly higher risk of developing autoimmune liver conditions or gallstone. Also, a few females with a history of cholestasis of pregnancy may develop cholestasis in future after taking certain antibiotics or birth control pills.

Cholestasis of pregnancy resolves on its own after the birth of a baby,but you are required to get a checkup done in about 6-12 weeks after the delivery to confirm that the symptoms are resolved.

Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta:  Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.