Pregnancy is generally not recommended for dialysis patients because it is considered a high-risk pregnancy. There are approximately 13,000 women under the age of 44 receiving chronic dialysis in the United States and twenty-five percent of them are treated with peritoneal dialysis(PD). A survey of 35% of women of childbearing age over a three year period revealed 9 pregnancies, or 0.25 % per year. For a reason which is not known, PD patients become less frequently pregnant than hemodialysis(CAPD, PD) patients. Peritoneal dialysis is a reasonable option for pregnant women on dialysis because it provides continuous filtration and removal of wastes, although there may be abdominal discomfort form teh fluid that is placed into the belly in order to daulyse. Not enough is known to recommend pregnant women on dialysis to switch from HD to PD. A PD catheter is not harmful to the baby and can be placed at any time during pregnancy. Potential complications of PD in pregnancy include: peritonitis, bleeding, hypertension, anemia.
Fifty percent of pregnancies in CAPD patients reported to the American Registry resulted in surviving infants. Most infants are born prematurely. CAPD renders a pregnancy high risk but is not in itself life threatening for the mother.
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