The Pregnancy Itch
What Makes You Itch?
1. Stretching Skin
2. Increased Sensitivity
Cholestasis is a serious pregnancy complication that affects roughly 1 in 1000 pregnancies. It occurs when liver function is impaired and bile acids build up and spill into the bloodstream. It is most common in the third trimester but can occur earlier. Cholestasis with one pregnancy increases the chances of it occurring in subsequent pregnancies. The itch caused by cholestasis is extreme and there is very little that can be done to relieve it. The cure for cholestasis is delivery, and most individuals with this condition will be diagnosed between 36 and 37 weeks as health risks increase dramatically after that point.
While most causes of itchiness in pregnancy are benign, if irritating, it is always worth mentioning to your health care provider. Your doctor or midwife may be able to recommend specific creams, anti-histamines, or other treatments that may help to relieve your symptoms safely.