The term cholestasis is derived from two Greek words i.e. chole, which means bile and stasis, while means still. Sometimes, doctors refer to cholestasis of pregnancy as intrahepatic cholestasis or obstetric cholestasis of pregnancy. It causes a severe form of itching especially on the feet and hands of a conceived woman.
The problem mainly takes place during the later weeks of the second trimester or the last trimester of one’s pregnancy. In most of the cases, the condition does not pose any risk for the long-term health of a mother, but it may cause various complications for the unborn baby or infant. Cholestasis takes place whenever the liver fails to excrete the fluid of bile properly. Bile is responsible to process the body fat.(1)
How Do You Stop Cholestasis Of Pregnancy From Spreading?
If you suspect to suffer from cholestasis, you have to consult your doctor about the right treatment to prevent its spread and complications. Accordingly-
Prescription Medicine Of Ursodiol: Once your doctor identifies that you are suffering from cholestasis of pregnancy, he/she will give prescription medicine of ursodiol. ursodiol helps you in reducing the level or amount of bile acids in the blood to relieve itchy skin. Also, the medicine reduces the risk of your baby to experience any complication caused due to cholestasis of pregnancy.
Never Intake Any Corticosteroids Or Antihistamines: You should never use medicines like corticosteroid lotions or creams and antihistamines to relieve the itching problem. This is because; such medicines treat symptoms related to allergies, like itchy eyes or skin rashes. They fail to work or may cause harm to the baby during one’s pregnancy.
Soak In Lukewarm Water: Soak or bath in lukewarm water helps you a lot to feel better.
Other Recommendable Tests To Prevent The Spread Of Cholestasis Of Pregnancy To Fetus
If you are cholestasis of pregnancy patient, your doctor may monitor the baby by conducting different tests, which include the following-
Amniocentesis: Amniocentesis test collects amniotic fluid of some amount from across the baby present in your womb/uterus. The test checks any birth defect and specific genetic conditions present in the baby. Your doctor may use ultrasound for checking the amniotic fluid of the baby to identify meconium or identify the development of the lungs in the baby for birth. Ultrasound uses a computer screen and sound waves to display the picture of your baby in the uterus.
Nonstress Test Or Fetal Heart Rate Test: Nonstress test or fetal heart rate test checks the heart rate of the baby present in its mother’s womb and checks the way, in which heart rate changes while the baby moves. The test assures that the baby is getting oxygen in enough amounts.
BPP i.e. Biophysical Profile: BPP test combines ultrasound and nonstress tests. Your doctor may recommend for BPP to identify the amount of amniotic fluid present in the mother’s womb and check the movements and muscular tone of her baby.
Inducing Labor Method: If you are cholestasis of pregnancy patient, your doctor may recommend for the method of inducing labor to avoid complications, like for instance stillbirth. Inducing labor takes place when the doctor prescribes your medicines or breaks the water i.e. amniotic sac to start the labor. However, doctors recommend inducing labor by waiting for at least 39 weeks of the woman’s pregnancy to induce. Waiting for a period of 39 weeks gives your baby enough time in your womb to grow as well as develop before its birth.(3)
Symptoms Of Cholestasis of Pregnancy
A major symptom associated with cholestasis of pregnancy is that patients often experience severe itching in their feet or hands. However, depending on individual cases, cholestasis of pregnancy patient may have any one or a combination of the following-
- Jaundice i.e. white of the eyes and yellowing of the skin
- Light-colored stool or dark urine
- Fatigue and
- Abdominal pain(2)
To conclude, we should say that there are many ways to spread the problem of cholestasis of pregnancy in your womb’s baby or at least to avoid the complications.
- What Happens To Untreated Cholestasis Of Pregnancy & When To Go To Doctor?
- What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Cholestasis Of Pregnancy?
- Who Is At Risk For Cholestasis Of Pregnancy & Is There A Blood Test For It?
- How Do You Know If You Have Cholestasis Of Pregnancy & How Early Can You Get It In Pregnancy?
- Is Cholestasis Of Pregnancy Dangerous & How Does It Affect The Baby?
- Is Delivery By 37 Weeks Necessary For Cholestasis Of Pregnancy?