For women with an existing renal disease or condition, it is important to have the support and advice of an obstetrician or specialist from preconception, through the pregnancy, and extending to postnatal care, who can support you through a healthy pregnancy.
In milder cases of kidney disease, with normal blood pressure levels and only low levels of proteinuria, there is a lower risk of complications than in women with moderate or severe kidney disease. In all cases of renal disease or complications, it is important to speak to a doctor about becoming pregnant, in order to get a complete evaluation of the risks and possibilities.
Dialysis: In cases where the woman is on dialysis, the effects of the treatment may make it difficult or impossible to conceive, if hormone levels are affected and anaemia (a low red blood cell count) is involved. Kidney Failure: Due to the high probability of serious complications for both mother and baby, women suffering from kidney failure are usually advised not to become pregnant. Close medical supervision is important in these pregnancies, as it may require changes in medication, and more dialysis.
Kidney Transplant: A woman who has had a kidney transplant will often be able to have regular menstrual periods, and therefore be able to get pregnant. Conception is not recommended in the first year after the transplant, in order to allow the kidneys to stabilise and because the post-dialysis medications can have a negative effect on a foetus. Your doctor may advise you not to become pregnant if there is a risk of losing the transplant.
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If you have an existing condition, it is important that you find an experienced obstetrician who can support you throughout the pregnancy and ensure you are as healthy as possible. With support from a doctor who understands your condition, you will be able to have the healthiest possible pregnancy.
The effects of dialysis treatment can make conception very difficult, for example if hormone and red blood cell levels are affected. Your doctor will be able to discuss your options with you and check your levels if you are trying to get pregnant.
In many cases, once normal periods have returned, a woman who has had a kidney transplant will be able to conceive. It usually takes a year after the transplant for the kidneys to stabilise, and conception is not advised during this time. A doctor can evaluate your condition and help you figure out the safest course of action.