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Pregnancy Problems

During pregnancy, your health is number one priority. That’s why we went straight to top pregnancy health experts for all the details you want to know about the most common pregnancy problems. In our pregnancy problems guide, you can read about a slew of pregnancy conditions – everything from hemorrhoids to gestational diabetes. Find out what any pregnancy symptom could possibly mean (are you swollen just because you’re expecting, or is it a sign of some complication?) and find out whether or not it’s worth a call to your OB. If you already know you’ve got a pregnancy complication or health condition, our comprehensive articles will give you the scoop on its causes and how it can affect you and baby. Plus, get treatment tips straight from medical experts and pregnant women like you. Yup, we've got answers to all your questions about pregnancy health problems right here!

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Cholestasis of Pregnancy

Are you getting crazy, intense itching on your palms? Or maybe you have a little bit of jaundice? That's cholestasis of pregnancy. Find out how to treat it and if it will affect baby.

What is cholestasis of pregnancy?

Also known as obstetric cholestasis, this condition usually develops in the third trimester. It happens when bile (a digestive fluid that helps break down fats and is produced in the liver, then stored in the gallbladder) is blocked and fluid builds up in the bloodstream.

What are the signs of cholestasis of pregnancy?

The first sign of cholestasis of pregnancy is often crazy-intense itching in the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. Because the liver is affected, you may also develop jaundice, which can produce a yellowish tone in your skin and the whites of your eyes.

Are there any tests for cholestasis of pregnancy?

Yes. If your hands or feet start to itch (and you’ll know it if it happens), talk to your doctor, who can usually diagnose the condition through a simple blood test.

How common is cholestasis of pregnancy?

It’s not very common -- only about one in 1,000 patients develop it. If you’re of Chilean or Scandinavian descent, you may be slightly more at risk than the average woman, since obstetric cholestasis is a bit more common in both of those populations.

How did I get cholestasis of pregnancy?

The cause of cholestasis may be triggered by the hormonal roller coaster of pregnancy.

How will my cholestasis affect my baby?

For the mother, it may just cause itching -- but it can be very dangerous for your baby, since all that extra bile can put a ton of strain on his liver.

-- Michele Hakakha, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California


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