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What is cholestasis of pregnancy and is it dangerous?

There are many conditions that a pregnant woman might have to deal with while she is pregnant. Some of these conditions are serious and others are more bothersome. Some conditions can be dangerous for some women and not for other women. Cholestasis falls into that category.

What is cholestasis of pregnancy?

Cholestasis of pregnancy is a condition that impairs the flow of bile from the liver. In pregnant women, it causes severe itching of the feet and hands. It can also affect other body parts. This condition usually occurs in the third trimester and can also involve jaundice, loss of appetite and nausea.

Is cholestasis ever dangerous?

For pregnant women who are affected by cholestasis, the inability to sleep because of the itching is the worst thing that she has to deal with. For the baby, the effects of this condition can be much worse. Cholestasis can affect the developing baby to the degree that doctors will often recommend that a woman delivers her baby.

Does cholestasis continue after pregnancy?

Cholestasis will usually go away after the baby is delivered. Women who develop the condition and choose to get pregnant again are at an increased risk of developing the condition again. This means that increased monitoring of liver function and prompt symptom reporting if cholestasis symptoms appear are crucial.

This condition, like so many others that can affect a woman during pregnancy, is one that medical care providers should be on the lookout for. If your doctor was presented with the signs of a condition that negatively affected your pregnancy because he or she never took action, you might opt to seek compensation.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Cholestasis of pregnancy," accessed Aug. 18, 2016

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