June is ICP awareness month 💜 I was diagnosed with ICP at around 31 wks pregnant and had it not been for the brilliant staff at Hull Women’s & Children’s Hospital our story could be very different. The endless blood tests, CTG scans, medication, itching and check ups were all worth while when our little pud arrived early but safe and well. Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), also known as obstetric cholestasis (OC), is a liver disorder that develops during pregnancy. It is uncommon, affecting 0.7% of pregnant women.
ICP is caused by a build-up of bile acids and other substances in the liver, which then ‘leak’ into the woman’s bloodstream. It is diagnosed by looking for a raised level of bile acids in the blood.
It is most common for ICP/OC to develop after 28 weeks of pregnancy but it is possible for it to happen as early as week 8 of pregnancy.
Symptoms of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy/ obstetric cholestasis are ~ • Itching during pregnancy, usually without a rash.
This is often more noticeable on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet although it can be anywhere on the body. Typically, the itching is worse at night.
It can range from mild to severe but more severe itching does not mean you have a worse case of the disorder.
•Pale stools (poo) •Jaundice (noticeable by yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) •Pain in the area around the liver (Right Upper Quadrant Pain). It is most commonly felt under the ribs on the right side.
•Nausea and vomiting.
I had all these symptoms for 2 weeks, had never heard of ICP and thought I just needed to (wo)man up to ‘normal’ pregnancy symptoms. They weren’t normal - undiagnosed/ untreated ICP can result in still birth, fight the itch & save a life 💜💜 #icp #oc #intrahepaticcholestasisofpregnancy #obstetriccholestasis #fighttheitch #savealife