When it’s More Than Just an Itch: Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP)

Treatment

Not all health professionals are familiar with ICP and how it can vary from woman to woman, so trust your instincts and seek help repeatedly if need be. Don’t be afraid of pushing for the help that you need.

There is no real consensus on how to treat ICP – an ‘active management’ approach seems to be the most common, which involves monitoring you and baby through:

  • Blood tests (bile acids and liver function)
  • Fetal movement monitoring – cardiotocograph and growth scans (Unfortunately there is no evidence that these scans can actually predict an at-risk baby)
  • Treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) to help improve liver function and ease the itch
  • Treatment with other drugs
  • Planned delivery at around 37 weeks

Not all health professionals are familiar with ICP and how it can vary from woman to woman, so trust your instincts and seek help repeatedly if need be. Don’t be afraid of pushing for the help that you need.

Read up about ICP on sites like ICP Support, or join a support group – there you will find others who have been through it themselves or are experiencing it for the first time. There are mothers involved in these sites who have lost their babies due to ICP and their stories are heartbreaking. They hope that by spreading the word about this condition they might be able to save someone else from the same tragic loss.

Did you suffer from ICP during pregnancy? Would you like to share your story with our readers? Please get in touch.


Sources:

http://www.icpsupport.org/abouticp.shtml

http://www.icpsupport.org/pdf/MIDIRS_2013.pdf

http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/skin-problems-in-pregnancy/

 

Find support:

NZ/Aus Support Groups


Hannah Schenker is a freelance writer, editor and regular contributor to The Natural Parent Magazine. She lives with a touch of magic in Golden Bay, New Zealand. You can find her on her website

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