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Pregnancy and Kidney Disease

By HERWriter
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Pregnancy puts added strain on a woman's body. Kidney disease on top of pregnancy adds even more of a burden.

With mild kidney disease, pregnancy should be navigable, closely monitored by your doctors. Severe kidney disease can bring on serious complications however.

Pregnant women have higher blood pressure (hypertension), retain more fluid and have more toxins in the blood for the kidneys to contend with. For pregnant women with kidney disease this is magnified. And toxins in the blood may reach the baby causing havoc there.

High blood pressure can reduce the amount of blood getting to the placenta, so the baby's growth may be threatened. Unbridled high blood pressure can become preeclampsia (formerly known as toxemia). This can cause the mother to hemorrhage in her brain, kidneys or liver.

It can also result in early labor or miscarriage. About the only positive thing that can be said about preeclampsia is that it will resolve on its own within about 10 days after the birth.

As your pregnancy progresses, your risk of going for instance from mild to severe kidney disease gets higher. If you started with severe kidney disease you are at greater risk of entering kidney failure.

Your baby could end up being placed immediately into intensive care because of health issues. A baby born to a mother with kidney disease may be born prematurely, or it may be born with birth defects, or it may be stillborn.

It's not that easy to become pregnant while dealing with kidney disease. Women with kidney disease are less likely to conceive due to irregular periods and hormone levels.

If you are not already pregnant and have even mild kidney disease, it is wise to wait to conceive till the disease is well managed. If things have deteriorated into severe kidney disease, then it would be best to wait to conceive till after you are receiving dialysis or a transplant, whichever is your treatment plan. Transplants should not be performed on a pregnant woman.

If you're already pregnant, don't despair or assume that the worst will happen. This just means you have a serious job to do and it will take serious work.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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