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Thread: Obstetric Cholestasis

  1. #1
    Melinda Guest

    Question Obstetric Cholestasis

    Does anybody out there currently have it? Has anyone had it previously? What did you use for relief (if anything?) From what I understand it's something to do with the oestrogen produced during PG and also the liver releasing bile salts into your system and the only accurate way to determine what is going on accurately is through serum bile salt tests which are expensive and only done by the Royal Women & Children's Hospital in Melbourne? Apparently most women during PG will have some changes to their liver function during PG, so liver function tests in isolation may not give a definitive result on the extent of the condition?

    My OB thinks that I currently have it. I'm itching virtually all over my body, i.e. hands, arms, chest, boobs, back, legs (to around my knees - below the knees I'm all good LOL). I've tried moisturising, but to no avail, and also powder etc thinking perhaps my skin was either too dry (I'm prone to eczema at times and my skin has been quite dry on my face and hands during this PG) or perhaps it was from sweating during the night (hence using the powder).

    Thankfully it's pretty good during the day - I just have moments where it is itchy really, but it's night time when it's a shocker. Sometimes it wakes me up, other times I wake up to go to the toilet and just immediately start to scratch. From what I can gather however, it can be a whole lot worse than the symptoms I am experiencing, so I should be grateful.

    My OB isn't concerned about me or the baby at all, as I'm not jaundiced (a good thing apparently) and my BP is normal and the baby is moving normally. She is being born early anyway due to a repeat c/s and he was saying to me that generally there are risks when the PG progresses over 40w for singletons?

    So......anyone else out there want to share their thoughts/experiences with OC?

    ETA: Thank you Kelly and Tiff (Tiggy) for discussing this issue with me further and for your support and information!
    Last edited by Melinda; September 22nd, 2006 at 01:55 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2004


    Only thing i can suggest is having a tepid bath with pine-tarsol in it. I had one of those itchy pregnancy rashes at the end of Lily's pregnancy and thats the only thing that helped.

  3. #3
    j_white83 Guest


    Even though I complained to my obstetrician many times about being excessively itchy during pregnancy, it wasn't until I was nearly 38 weeks that they diagnosed OC through the bile salts test. The Doctor then decided to induce me the next day, without explaining much about it, I wasn't even informed it could cause stillbirth, I found this information myself. The only way I could relieve the itching was by having my poor husband scratch my back (and legs, and feet, ect ect) every night, and I found having baths nice as well. I tried using the 'pregnancy itching oil' by Palmers (the cocoa product people), but it didn't really work. I got over OC only when my baby was born. I am currently pregnant again, and at only 22 weeks, I am already experiencing some night itching! I think they say there's a 60% chance of getting it in subsequent pregnancies, so its pretty likely I will have it again. Doctors don't really know too much about the disease so thats why they suggest inductions from about 37 weeks, and just do regular tests to make sure the levels aren't too high.

  4. #4
    Melinda Guest

    Default one of my feet has started to get mega itchy too!! Can't win!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    WA y WA y A WAy


    i had this with Ryan it drove me nuts the only thing i could get relief with was having a nice warm shower but this only helped for about 10- 15 mins then straight back to clawing my only advise would be if the give you an epidural at the birth cut your nails really short with me i had and epi and couldn't feel any pain but boy could i felt the itches i clawed my self that badly on my stomach and legs that i had no skin left cause i couldn't feel the pain of tearing my skin off it got to the point i was bleeding and had blood blistered all over my lower body if i had have realised i would have put mitten/or socks on my hands to stop myself doing damage LOL good luck with all and thankfully the symptoms practically disappear straight away after the birth

  6. #6

    Default Obstetric Cholestasis

    Hello Belly members, it's been a while!!

    Just a quick question for those who have suffered from this in the past, but Im a 29+5 and over the last week have developed an itch that's insane most times, worse at night (a couple of nights have not been to sleep at all due to itch). The only thing is, as much research as Ive done, Im not sure if I fit the symptoms of this obstetric cholestasis as my palms and soles dont itch all the time, just generalised itch everywhere else including places like in the nostrils and mouth, hair ... arrgg everywhere. I have been tested for it, but Im afraid even if it may become positive it may not be this time round as I dont itch like evreyone else seems to (I dont need to use a hairbrush or anything like that, plus the itch comes and goes ... I think today has been my best day yet without itching constantly). I kind of feel guilty for wasting docs time and keep thinking it's in my head yet when I cant seem to satisfy the itch it gets me wondering again. Who else has had this and what is your story??
    Thanks ladies

  7. #7

    Default Re: Obstetric Cholestasis

    Big hugs - sounds really u comfortable. No experience sorry, but just wanted to say you're not wasting dr's time - you're seeking health care for a very legitimate complaint. Hope you get some relief soon!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Obstetric Cholestasis

    Tests confirmed I didn't have OC, my midwife in the end put it down to some sort of hormonal hives. It was awful. Constant itching mostly all over my arms, boobs, back and neck for at least 20 weeks. ACV baths alternated with Mother Earth skin nourishing oil baths helped a little. Nothing took the itch away I really feel for you because I know how awful it is

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