The presence of good kidney function allows women who have received kidney transplant to get pregnant and give birth without jeopardizing their health or the health of their transplant.
Having children does not affect patients' kidney function or their life-span compared with transplanted women who do not have children, according to a matching cohort study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN).
There is little information on the health effects of pregnancy and childbirth in women with a functioning kidney transplant. To determine whether getting pregnant and having a baby are safe for these women, Vicki Levidiotis, MD (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Australia), and her colleagues analyzed 40 years' worth of pregnancy-related data for transplant recipients in Australia and New Zealand.
The birth rate in women who have received a kidney transplant is much lower than in the general population. Dr. Levidiotis and her team found that 444 live births were reported from 577 pregnancies among female kidney transplant recipients in Australia and New Zealand over the past 40 years. The proportion of births doubled during the last decade but the birth rate was approximately 80% lower than that seen in women in the general population, confirming the "relative infertility" of women with kidney transplants. Among women with a functioning kidney transplant who became pregnant, 83% of them went on to give birth.