Kidney transplantation is the preferred treatment for end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Compared to patients treated with dialysis, kidney transplant recipients live longer, have improved quality of life and consume fewer health care resources (1–3). In addition, hypothalamic gonadal dysfunction in females with ESRD may be reversed within the first few months after kidney transplantation (4). Therefore, the ability to have children is a potential benefit of kidney transplantation.
Despite thousands of successful pregnancies in kidney transplant recipients, there is limited information about the likelihood of pregnancy and anticipated fetal outcomes in these patients (4). Current data about pregnancy after kidney transplantation are derived from voluntary registries (5–8), case reports (9,10) or single-center case series (11) rather than population-based studies, which may be less prone to selection bias (12,13).
In the United States, kidney transplant recipients remain eligible for ESRD Medicare insurance for a period of 3 years after transplantation. We utilized inpatient and outpatient Medicare claims data to determine the pregnancy rate and the live birth rate among Medicare-insured kidney transplant recipients between 1990 and 2003 in the United States. Our objective was to provide population-based estimates of the pregnancy rate and live birth rate after kidney transplantation.