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Itchy? Read this!

(11 Posts)
MrsLilac Thu 13-Nov-14 13:41:45

I have been really itchy for a couple of weeks. I told my midwife at the 34 week check and she said it was a normal pregnancy symptom, that my skin was stretching blah blah blah. I was having bloods taken that day anyway so you would think she would just add the liver function tests anyway but she didn't. The next day the itching was so bad (all over my body but hands and feet/ankles were really bad). I googled it and saw the condition; obstetric cholestasis which is when your liver doesn't function well In pregnancy. I went to the doctors the next day and they tested me for OC. Turns out I have it and my levels are very high. Been in hospital for numerous tests and to be monitored since and been put on the highest dose of medication and vitamin k. I'm being induced on Monday, the day I turn 37 weeks. Just wanted to share this as if I had listened to my midwife and ignored the itching, it could have been a very different story. Babies need to be induced before 38 weeks if you have this condition. Anyway, wanted to share this as people are often not aware of this but it is fairly common in pregnancy. If you are itchy insist on a liver and bile function test.

baby5ontheway Thu 13-Nov-14 16:24:32

Mrs L thanks for the heads up, seems so unreassuring (if that's a word) that midwives could be so careless in caring for a patient. Just goes to show that you should always trust your own judgement and instinct.

Good luck for Monday

Cloud10 Thu 13-Nov-14 21:41:59

I've been diagnosed with this today as well! I'm 35+5 and my hospital said they wouldn't induce me early unless I really was struggling, and even then probably not before 39 weeks. My bile acid level was 33...I think that's high but not the absolute highest. They gave me the medication, not a high dose though, and just said they'd monitor levels weekly and see what happened, change plan if necessary. Trying not to worry too much, the baby was fine and plenty of movement etc. The itching is so annoying though! Hope you're ok...

MrsLilac Fri 14-Nov-14 08:22:31

Baby5 - thanks, yeah it is crazy that the midwife just totally dismissed this. I have heard that a lot with this condition.

Cloud - as long as they are keeping an eye on you you should be fine. My levels were through the roof. In the 90's I think and I'm on the highest doses of medication but I'm 36 weeks so yours could get worse as you progress. I was told they will not let me go past 38 weeks but that may be because my levels are so crazy. Yeah the itching is horrendous. I have scabs all over my body where I'm itching the night! I hope the medication helps your itching. They gave me some mentholated cream and it makes me shiver and really cold so iv stopped using in! Lol

Cloud10 Fri 14-Nov-14 10:22:58

You poor thing, that is high! It is unbearable at night isn't it. The only thing I've found helps is to have a cold-ish shower with some really gentle shower cream, then put on the menthol cream and wear something really light. I'm keeping the menthol cream in the fridge which helps too. I quite like the tingling, makes me forget the itching! Oh and taking piriton before bed to help with sleep, and again in the middle of the night. I'm going to ask for a higher dose of the URSo stuff as it doesn't seem to be helping. I'm 36 weeks tomorrow so we must be at nearly the same stage. The positive side I guess is we will have our babies sooner, and won't be worrying about going overdue until nearly christmas!

martie1 Fri 14-Nov-14 14:20:39

I have a mad itch too since 27 weeks but they have found nothing yet in my regular test results, liver function tests or bile acid tests. its driving me crazy particularly at night when my feet and ankles are incredibly itchy. My latest thing to help is a cold face cloth on my feet to cool them in bed at night. Have had the poorest weeks sleep so far however and its been the only thing helping. I wish I was diagnosed tbh, im fed up with it just being an itch. My legs look horrendous with scabs that I am repeatedly pulling off when I scratch my legs.
36 + 4

StrawberryMojito Fri 14-Nov-14 21:09:12

I had this with my first pregnancy, didn't develop it until about 38 weeks and was induced straight away.

3 yrs later, I'm pregnant again, no symptoms as yet but same hospital is now saying that they don't routinely induce early for this any more. I think there is less evidence for the risk of still birth and they would prefer to monitor.

Can't believe your midwife ignored your symptoms though. She should know better. As soon as I mentioned severe itchiness I was told to attend maternity triage for tests.

teaandducks Sun 16-Nov-14 10:26:55

I can't believe your midwife ignored the symptoms esp hands&feet is the classic! Sorry you had just bad care sad Martie I've been just like you - bad itching since 15 wks but bloods all normal, 1st MW tips me it was PUPP (pruritic pregnancy disease) but second one made me see GP who have me a cream that cured it - scabs all gone, no itching, finally getting some sleep &DH is no longer embarrassed if I get my legs out in public ;) Definitely see your GP!

martie1 Sun 16-Nov-14 13:27:25

Wow- teaandducks do you know what you were prescribed? My legs are just awful, they look like they have been attacked by some horrible disease. I would just kill for a cure, if only to get some sleep. Im so tired generally now never mind not sleeping because of the itch.

teaandducks Sun 16-Nov-14 20:42:12

It was fusibet - fusidic acid helps the infection created by my excess scratching and has low dose steroid in it (which GP said is safe in pregnancy but they wont give over counter) that stopped me itching for first time in months! Good luck. Hope it helps. I'd tried EVERYTHING prior inc baths of bicarb of soda and oats etc. so know the pain... smile

Threesoundslikealot Mon 17-Nov-14 14:38:07

Quite shocked at your midwife there, MrsLilac. Glad they've caught it, and thanks for the message.

I'm only 15 weeks and had been very itchy on my limbs and torso. A GP friend saw me scratching, looked at the skin, and said it was hormonal eczema, not uncommon in pregnancy. I got hydrocortisol cream prescribed by my GP, and used tons of moisturiser, and it's much better. Steroid cream was the way forward for me too.

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