When you are a woman and want to become a mother, there are few things that you wouldn’t do to get pregnant. The maternal instinct is coded in most women and even though maternity is not their primary goal in life, it is, by all means, an important decision that will affect every aspect of their existence for as long as they are alive.
Joe Cosgrove knows that there are a few circumstances that can make it harder for a woman to get pregnant. Having kidney problems may be one of those circumstances that can complicate the entire fertilization process, especially when kidney dialysis takes place in the equation. There are some studies that show that only 1 to 7 percent of women who are going under dialysis treatment can actually get successfully pregnant. The reason for these numbers is that if you don’t have healthy kidneys it is very unlikely for you to have healthy eggs to fertilize.
Numbers show that most women going under dialysis don’t get their period every month and when they do it is irregular. This is caused as a result of irregular hormone levels affected by kidney malfunction. If you are one of the few women who actually got pregnant during dialysis, you have a 20 percent chance of having a miscarriage. If by any chance, you make it to week 30, it is very likely that you will have a premature birth and a high-risk pregnancy.
Related: Pregnancy and Kidney Dialysis.
Why pregnancy during dialysis is not recommended?
Every case of pregnancy during dialysis is going to be high-risk. The reason to this is that during the gestation process kidneys are supposed to work full time. When hemodialysis takes place, kidney works only during 12 hours per week, and the level of waste product in the bloodstream is considerably high, affecting the regular development of the baby.
If you are pregnant, your kidneys should work overtime to keep your blood clean since the baby is constantly releasing waste to your bloodstream that needs to be filtered by the kidneys. For women who are under dialysis, providing the right environment for a baby to grow is rather difficult since they will need to go under dialysis more often without guaranteeing that their kidneys will work like they should.
What are the chances of having a baby during dialysis or after a kidney transplant?
If you are on dialysis and find out that you are pregnant, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor about it. Every case is a specific case and has particular conditions that need to be taken care of. Your doctor should be prepared enough to explain what could go wrong during pregnancy and what kind of precautions you will need to have in order to carry your baby to term.
Women with kidney disease may be under different circumstances. It may be that you just got on dialysis. In this case, you are more prone to get pregnant since you still have a considerable amount of residual kidney function. Also, if you had a transplant, you may not be allowed to have sex right after, but once your kidneys have scared, you will have more chances to have a regular menstrual cycle and healthy eggs to fertilize.
Women who are done with dialysis and have a successful kidney transplant, usually recover their normal hormone levels and are healthier than those who are still on dialysis. Statistics show that 20 percent of women who got a kidney transplant are able to get pregnant while those on dialysis have a maximum of a 7 percent chance of conceiving.
Nevertheless, if you had a kidney transplant, pregnancy is not recommended until the renal function stabilizes. This means waiting until the protein levels in the urine normalize and the body doesn’t show any symptoms of kidney rejection. A good way to know if your hormone levels are improving is if you feel more energy to have sex, this can also increase your chances of getting pregnant.
If you are on dialysis or have any type of kidney condition it is recommended for you to talk to your doctor first. Patients on dialysis will need to increase the frequency of the treatment from three to six times a week, based on the doctor’s criteria. Having more frequent dialysis is going to be gentler on the mother’s body and less harmful for the baby since the regular kidney function will slightly recover. Other aspects that need to be taken care of are the blood pressure control and the prescription of a healthy diet that includes plenty of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fluids.
The support of a healthcare team is also recommended for women on dialysis. This way it would be easier for patients to have all their needs covered on a day to day basis for as long as they need or carry the baby to term.