28.09.2015

Chances getting pregnant after kidney transplant

For women fortunate enough to do so (more than 90,000 people in the United States are on the kidney-transplant waiting list) fertility is restored within a few months.
The American Journal of Transplantation has published the results of that meta-analysis, which reviewed literature published from 2000 through 2010. Within those studies, the average age of the women who received transplants and subsequently got pregnant was 29, and the average time between transplant surgery and pregnancy was 3.2 years. Unanswered by the studies was how long a woman should wait before trying to become pregnant. Because the risk of organ rejection is at its highest in the first year following a transplant, the immune system is suppressed with the help from anti-rejection drugs.
Even with proof of successful pregnancies over the past decades, transplant recipients and their families still need information to help them assess the risks, and counseling if they choose to proceed, says Dr.


In an editorial accompanying the analysis, Armenti mentions the case of Edith Helm, who in 1956 became the first woman to receive a kidney transplant.
Other than worries about a new kidney being damaged by the baby during pregnancy (a developing fetus can cause pressure in the lower part of the abdomen, where kidney transplants are placed), physicians in Helms' time weren't worried about the medical side effects, Armenti said. The idea for a registry was triggered by an experience Armenti had during his fellowship in transplantation. To date, the registry has collected data on more than 3,200 pregnancy outcomes in women (and men who have fathered children) who have had heart, kidney, liver, lung and pancreas transplants. Often transplant recipients contemplating pregnancy contact the registry to seek out other recipients with similar medical backgrounds. Comparing outcomes for transplant recipients with those for the general population of healthy women may not be as meaningful as comparing those outcomes with other types of transplant recipients, Armenti says.


Vincent Armenti, a transplant surgeon who oversees the National Transplantation Pregnancy Registry at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She had two healthy pregnancies and lived complication-free from her transplant until her death earlier this year from causes unrelated to the earlier surgery.



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