Cholestasis of Pregnancy or Pruritus Gravidarum

August 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Cholestasis or Pruritus Gravidarum



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What is Cholestasis of Pregnancy?

Cholestasis of pregnancy, or pruritis gravidarum is a condition in which the gallbladder does not function properly, when the normal flow of bile is sluggish or halted. This causes itching and yellowing of the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.

Cholestasis can begin in early pregnancy, but is most common during the last trimester. It typically disappears within a few days following child birth.

Cholestasis is very rare, occurring in about 1 or 2 out of every 1000 pregnant women. It is most common in women of Swedish and Chilean descent and among women with multiple pregnancies.

What Causes Cholestasis of Pregnancy?

Cholestasis of pregnancy is caused by the effects of hormones on the gallbladder. When gallbladder function is slow, or stops it can cause a build up of bile in the liver. This can enter the bloodstream and result in itching.

Is Cholestasis of pregnancy dangerous?

Cholestasis can contribute to a greater incidence of preterm birth and fetal distress. It can also increase the risk of maternal hemorrhage after the baby is delivered.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cholestasis of Pregnancy?

Symptoms of cholestasis include, but are not limited to:

  • Itching all over
  • Dark colored urine
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Bowel movements that are light in color

How is Cholestasis of Pregnancy Treated?

Treatment can vary from case to case. Itching may be treated with a variety of anti-itch medicines applied to your skin or with certain steroids. There are also medications which work to reduce the level of bile in your body. Vitamin K may be recommended for conditions of abnormal bleeding.

You and your baby will be monitored by your health care provider to help prevent complications from arising.




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One Comment on "Cholestasis of Pregnancy or Pruritus Gravidarum"

  1. anupama bhat on Mon, 25th Apr 2011 6:21 am 

    I am expecting and this is my second baby.the first trimester was ok,I had absolutely no problems. Even my fourth month was fine but itching has started with the begining of 18th week.In my first pregnancy itching started in the fifth week and it was acute. My Liver enzymes were all dearranged (e.g., SGPT, SGOT,Alkaline Phosphate should be around 30-55 they were between 230-555 approx.)accompanied with the loss of sleep. This time also it is exactly the same – acute itching all over my body accompanied with the loss of sleep.I don’t know what causes this but it is horrible.

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