Due to the complications of intrahepatic cholestasis, doctors recommend undergoing labor before the scheduled due date. Remember, once a pregnant woman experiences severe itching, she should seek medical help immediately.
About Intrahepatic Cholestasis
This case of itching involves a disorder of the liver. This condition affects a small percentage of pregnant women and usually occurs during the last three months of pregnancy.
Cause of Intrahepatic Cholestasis
The cause for this severe itching during pregnancy is unknown, although doctors have speculated that genes play a role as there have been cases where intrahepatic cholestasis runs in families.
Another cause may also be due to hormones. Pregnancy hormones rise as a pregnant woman gets closer to giving birth.
Doctors believe that the increase of pregnancy hormones slows down the flow of bile to the liver. In turn, this leads to bile build-up in the liver and causes intense itching.
Symptoms of Intrahepatic Cholestasis
The main symptom for this condition is severe itching during pregnancy without a rash. These itchy areas are commonly experienced in areas such as the soles of the feet and the palms. There is also the possibility where itching occurs in other parts of the body as well.
The itching is so severe that it makes a pregnant woman feel uncomfortable to the point that they cannot bear it, and usually the itching gets worse at night.
Other symptoms for intrahepatic cholestasis include:
- Dark urine
- Pale excretion (poop)
- Jaundice (the skin as well as the whites of the eyes appear yellow)
- Loss of appetite
Usually, the itching goes away once the baby has been delivered.