Contraception and pregnancy after liver transplantation

Authors

  • Professor Caroline A. Riely MD

    Corresponding author
    1. From the Gastroenterology Division, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, TN
    • Medicine and Pediatrics, Gastroenterology Division, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, 951 Court Ave, Room 555 D, Memphis, TN 38163. Telephone: 901-448-4384; FAX: 901-448-5338
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Abstract

Key Points

  • 1Libido returns promptly after liver transplantation; patients should be counseled on contraception and avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • 2Women after liver transplantation are at increased risk for cancer and should have regularly scheduled screening for cervical and breast cancer.
  • 3Immunosuppression during pregnancy is not teratogenic and does not lead to congenital anomalies.
  • 4Pregnancy after liver transplantation is often successful, but must be regarded as high risk, associated with an increased risk for hypertension and preeclampsia, intrauterine growth retardation, and prematurity. It is best delayed until 1 to 2 years after grafting.
  • 5Close monitoring of immunosuppressant levels in the blood is crucial during pregnancy to avoid inappropriately low levels of immunosuppression.

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