How Does Kidney Disease Affect Pregnancy?

Noticing symptoms and getting proper treatment of kidney disease is important. It helps prevent negative health effects during pregnancy. For this, you'll need medical controls and pay attention to risk factors.
How Does Kidney Disease Affect Pregnancy?

Last update: 09 October, 2018

Kidney disease or kidney failure can cause big problems for pregnant women and their babies. It’s important to know how kidney disease affects pregnancy, and how to avoid complications that put both of your lives at risk.

Kidney disease causes the kidneys to not function properly because of some kind of failure. If it lasts for more than three months, it’s considered a chronic kidney disease.

Despite having treatment, this disease can cause serious problems for pregnant women. It also causes issues for those trying to get pregnant. In fact, medical studies claim that women who have been diagnosed but haven’t conceived have the highest risk.

Types of kidney diseases

According to their intensity and duration, we can split kidney disease into three types:

  • Acute. It happens quickly. It’s usually caused by significant blood loss, poisonous substances or certain medications that can cause kidneys to stop functioning normally. It can lead to permanent loss of kidney function.
  • Chronic. This occurs when kidney functions progressively get worse over time. It’s a result of primary or secondary diseases. If your doctor catches it early, treatments can be very effective. Some treatments are hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and kidney transplants.
How Does Kidney Disease Affect Pregnancy?
  • Acute-over-chronic. This one is caused by acute kidney failure when there is already a chronic failure. You can reverse the acute failure. This allows you to go back to your normal conditions before the acute failure. However, sine it’s hard to spot, it could get worse without the patient thinking it’s a new condition.
  • Terminal. In these cases, there is often permanent and total kidney failure. The patient’s life may be at risk if they don’t get the treatment they need. These are the same ones that we mentioned earlier.

How can you detect kidney disease?

The first step to know if your kidneys are working well is to do a urine sample that tests for proteins. Although protein is healthy, it should be in your blood, not urine. If it’s found in your urine, it means that your kidneys aren’t filtering as they should.

You should also do blood tests to look for a waste product called creatinine, which comes from muscle tissue. When kidney function isn’t effective, your body doesn’t correctly get rid of creatinine.

Once you get the blood creatinine index, next you find the glomerular filtration rate. This tells doctors how well the kidneys do their job. It also reveals how kidney disease affects each woman’s pregnancy.

“Despite having treatment, this disease can cause serious problems for pregnant women. It also causes issues for those trying to get pregnant.”

How kidney disease affects pregnancy

Risks for moms

Pregnant women suffering from kidney failure are more likely to suffer high blood pressure, preeclampsia, eclampsia and even death. Even those who suffer from mild kidney disease can have complications. Some examples are anemia and malnutrition during pregnancy.

The best way to prevent this type of inconvenience is by monitoring it at different stages of delivery. Even today, pregnant women don’t get the medical attention they need during this time. This is especially true in developing countries.

Therefore, many risk factors go unnoticed. In addition, people don’t pay attention to their symptoms.

Some of these are:

  • Changes in frequency, amount and color of urine.
  • Fluid retention, which can cause swelling and fatigue.
  • Metallic taste in the mouth of ammonia. This is caused by the increase of urea in the saliva.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
How Does Kidney Disease Affect Pregnancy?

Dangers for the baby’s health

By explaining how kidney disease affects pregnancy, the baby’s health is also important. The most serious consequences the baby can suffer from are delay in growth, low birth weight, and fetal death. Also, it’s often the cause of premature births.

The main cause of these problems is the mother’s lack of proteinsAs we said, the kidneys aren’t filtering things out properly. This causes problems for both the mother and baby.

The doctor should check the mother’s blood creatinine level at the beginning of pregnancy. This is important to determine the treatment, precautions and risks that both could go through. If one of the parents has kidney disease, the baby is more likely to have it.

In conclusion, it’s necessary to keep kidney disease under control before and after the start of pregnancy. All mothers should be aware of how kidney disease affects pregnancy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.