In published studies there is a lack of data about the risks, management and how women with autoimmune hepatitis decide on and are advised about pregnancy.
Dr Mårten Werner and colleagues from Sweden investigated how women with autoimmune hepatitis who consider pregnancies, are advised and pharmacologically treated, as well as the outcome.
|48% did not consult their doctors before getting pregnant|
|Journal of Gastroenterology|
The team mailed a questionnaire to128 women with autoimmune hepatitis diagnosed during their fertile period.
The researchers also used data from the Swedish National Birth Register for matched controls.
The research team noted an 83% response rate to the questionnaires.
The team found that 63 pregnancies were reported by 35 women.
Of those, 48% did not consult their doctors before getting pregnant.
More than half of the women reduced or stopped the immune suppression during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Some of the women were advised to abstain from pregnancy or even to have an abortion.
The team observed that cesarean sections were performed more frequently in the autoimmune hepatitis group.
There were no significant differences in the number of stillborn infants or infants with malformations.
The team found that 30% of the patients experienced flare-up after delivery.
Dr Werner's team concluded, "In general, the outcome of pregnancy in women with autoimmune hepatitis seems to be good."
"Current pharmacological treatment appears to be safe, including azathioprine during pregnancy and lactation."
"After delivery an active preparedness to increase pharmacotherapy should be considered."