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February 28, 2017 | OB/GYN
Several factors can influence the health of both a mother and her child during pregnancy, such as blood pressure, age or serious health conditions. One condition that can affect a healthy pregnancy is kidney disease, or renal disease.
Because kidney disease affects pregnancy, women who have had kidney problems should speak with their doctor prior to becoming pregnant and assess other personal health factors. Here are a few important facts to consider if you’re a potential mother with kidney disease.
Things to consider before getting pregnant include:
The stage of kidney disease plays a role in whether or not you can safely have children. The risk levels are generally split into two categories:
Treatment for kidney disease varies depending on the maturity of the disease. Here’s how some options can affect potential pregnancies:
Women who have had kidney problems in the past, especially those with high blood pressure, should not use pill-form birth control because it can raise blood pressure. It’s perfectly safe to use many other forms of birth control with kidney conditions, though, and your doctor can make the right recommendation for you.
Although men who have had a kidney transplant or are on dialysis may have fertility issues, there’s generally no risk to them fathering a child as long as they’re able to. Because some kidney conditions and medications cause fertility problems, talk with your doctor if you’ve been trying to have children without success.
If you’ve dealt with kidney complications and are worried about possible risks of pregnancy, speak to your doctor before making any final decisions. He or she can tell you if you’re at higher risk and point you in the right direction.
“Pregnancy and Kidney Disease.” National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/pregnancy
“Kidney Disorders During Pregnancy.” Merck Manual. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/women-s-health-issues/pregnancy-complicated-by-disease/kidney-disorders-during-pregnancy
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.