Cholestasis of pregnancy

Cholestasis of Pregnancy

Cholestasis of pregnancy is also known as prurigo gravidarum, jaundice of pregnancy, obstetric cholestasis. Medically Cholestasis of pregnancy is usually known as Intrahepatic cholestasis. This is a medical term which indicates cholestasis during pregnancy. Gallbladder contains yellowish brown or dark green fluid called bile. It is formed by Hepatocytes, draining through bile duct penetrating through liver and gatherers in Gallbladder. Cells of Epithelial tissue add a watery liquid of bicarbonate mixture to the solution which enrich alkalinity of the bile sap. Common hepatic ducts carry bile and join to pancreatic duct and ended into the duodenum. Bile stores in gallbladder and becomes concentrated. In the concentrated solution cholesterol is found dissolved with organic acid and fats.

Our stomach crushes food and sends it to duodenum as chime and then gallbladder releases bile into duodenum through the ducts. One liter of bile can be produced by human body each day depending on the size of the body. Bile contains a large amount of salt which are reabsorbed in terminal ileum. Hepatic portal vein carries those salts from ileum to liver and resends them to bile. Intrahepatic cholestasis is of mainly two types. Intrahepatic cholestasis can be caused by mechanical blockage in the duct system as a consequent of malignancy or gallstone. There is another type of cholestasis called as metabolic type which forms from genetic defect or as a by-product of many medications. Troublesome itching is a primary early symptom of pregnancy and could  lead to more complicate conditions.

Cholestasis during pregnancy is a very frequent disease of liver only caused for the duration of pregnancy due to high amount of pregnancy hormones. is generally happens when hormones are at their peak during the last trimester of pregnancy.  Normally it goes away after a several days of giving birth to a child. Cholestasis during pregnancy may occur approximately 10 out of 10,000 pregnancies. It is more common in Swedish than American people. Sometimes it can be form out side of the liver and can be called extrahepatic cholestasis.

Causes of Cholestasis of pregnancy

Like estrogen and other hormone have an adverse effect on Gallbladder function and terminate the flow of bile through bile duct to duodenum. When natural flow of is affected then it stored in liver and produce bile acid which spills out to the bloodstream. This causes cholestasis of pregnancy.

Symptoms of Cholestasis of pregnancy

Itching is one of the most common symptoms of Cholestasis of pregnancy. Sometimes it may be the only symptoms. On the hands and feet are mainly incensed by the itching.

Color of urine may be darken or more yellowish than normal.

Bowel movements of light coloring.

Fatigue is a common symptom of Cholestasis of pregnancy. Stamina reduces during this disease.


Losing appetite: losing appetite during pregnancy is always a matter of concern. It is symptoms of many diseases. It is also a symptom of Cholestasis of pregnancy.

Depression: depression is a common problem during pregnancy. Women suffer at nightmare and lacking of certainty and feel unsecured. It may also cause depression. But it may be a symptom of Cholestasis of pregnancy.

Jaundice: jaundice is a common symptom of Cholestasis of pregnancy. Jaundice causes color of eyes, mucus membrane and skin become yellow.


Last three symptoms are very rare. But sometimes these symptoms are noticeable for Cholestasis of pregnancy.

Who are at risk?

  • Usually 0.1% of women are affected by Cholestasis of pregnancy. But some are at higher risk.
  • Women inherited Cholestasis of pregnancy genetically from mother are at high risk.
  • If any woman had a previous liver damage she has a high risk of Cholestasis of pregnancy.
  • Women carrying multiples have also a greater risk.

Determine of Cholestasis of pregnancy:

Some physical and blood tests that evaluate bile acids, liver function and bilirubin are perfect for Diagnosis of Cholestasis of pregnancy.

Effects On Fetus

Risk of fetal distress, stillbirth and preterm birth may be increased. Higher level of bile on mother’s blood cause stress on baby’s liver. Baby’s lungs can also be affected.


Topical anti-itch, ursodeoxycholic acid, Dexamethansone, Vitamin K supplements could be used. Cold water bath will be helpful to reduce blood flow trough decreasing temperature. Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root are natural foods which is good for liver.

For further treatment you should consult with an expertise.