All You Wanted to Know About Obstetric Cholestasis

All You Wanted to Know About Obstetric Cholestasis

Obstetric Cholestasis
Obstetric Cholestasis

Are you suffering from Obstetric Cholestasis? Read this article to find out its major causes, symptoms and treatment.

Obstetric Cholestasis refers to an exceptional complication that takes place during pregnancy. A huge accumulation of bile acids in the blood leads to a continuous itch during pregnancy. With this condition there may be associated dangers. However, the symptoms vanish with the birth of the baby. There are treatments available that aid in the minimizing of the itch.

Cholestasis indicates a decreased movement of bile in the bile ducts present in the liver. Some amount of bile then seeps through the openings into the blood, especially the bile salts. These diffuse in the blood which leads to certain symptoms. The other name for Obstetric Cholestasis is Intrahepatic Cholestasis during pregnancy.

In the United Kingdom, approximately 1% of pregnant women suffers from this disease and is rampant among pregnant women with twins and triplets. In case a woman has this condition is one pregnancy, there are high chances that she will be affected again. So if you’re pregnant and are struggling because of this disease, Tens machine hire can at least ease out a little of your difficulty.

Causes of Obstetric Cholestasis:

Even now the specific cause of this disease remains unclear. However, factors related to the hormones and genes.

Factors related to the hormone: Pregnancy leads to an augmentation in the levels of the hormones estrogen and progestogen, which have a tendency to have an impact on the liver. This eventually cuts down the rate of bile moving out along the minute bile ducts. There are some women who are very much susceptible to this factor.

Factors related to the genes:  Obstetric Cholestasis is prevalent in certain families even though a few generations may be able to avoid it. Women who suffer from this disease inherit a small difficulty in the way bile is manufactured and moves along the bile ducts. The increased degree of hormones manufactured during pregnancy may lead to an imbalance eventually causing a relatively decreased movement of bile.


The symptoms take place after pregnancy enters the 25th week when the levels of hormones are at their peak. However, it can occur quite sooner than expected during pregnancy.

  • Itching: The most common symptom is itch. This can be at any place on the body, but the hands and feet are the most affected. This seems to worsen until you give birth. Remember that moderate itching of the body during pregnancy is a normal affair. But if the condition worsens, visit your doctor.
  • Other Symptoms: The other symptoms which are less prevalent are exhaustion, decreased appetite and a feeling of being sick and moderate jaundice. You might turn yellow with blackish urine and pale stool. This is not so common and is because of the high degree of bilirubin passing out from the bile ducts into the blood.


No cure has been found for this disease. This disease is not so serious but can be upsetting. Your doctor may advise you to take up the following measures:

General procedures:  Some pregnant women have discovered that keeping themselves cool somehow decreases the itching effect. You can achieve this by decreasing the temperature of the thermostat, leaving yourself uncovered when you go to bed, bathing with cold water and soaking your body parts in iced water.

With the help of Ursodeoxycholic acid, you can ease the itch to some extent. This is a natural bile acid which is used as a medicine. To keep a note of your current position in this situation, you can try any of the popular Tens machines for childbirth, if you wish.

Increase the level of Vitamin K intake. The level of this vitamin is low in patients suffering from ailments related to the liver and bile. Hence, ensure that you have an adequate supply of this vitamin.

To conclude, mild itching is quite common when you are pregnant. However, if it’s serious and continuous, get in touch with your physician as soon as possible.


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