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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Polycystic kidney disease

*

* Not a rare disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • PKD
  • Polycystic kidneys
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

What complications, if any, could happen if a person with polycystic kidney disease becomes pregnant? What are the risks to the mother and the baby?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Are there any risks associated with having polycystic kidney disease (PKD) during pregnancy?

About 80 percent of women with polycystic kidney disease have successful and uneventful pregnancies. However, some women with PKD have an increased risk for serious complications for themselves and their babies. Women at risk are those who have high blood pressure and decreased kidney function.[1] High blood pressure during pregnancy can cause low birth weight or premature delivery of the baby.[2] About 40% of women who have PKD with high blood pressure develop pre-eclampsia (or toxemia) during their pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia is a life-threatening disorder for both the mother and baby, and it can develop suddenly and without warning.[1]
Last updated: 3/31/2011

What kind of healthcare professional might someone with polycystic kidney disease see during their pregnancy?

Pregnant women with PKD may benefit from consulting with a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist, which is a type of doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. MFMs take care of pregnant women who have special medical problems (such as kidney disease), are at risk for pregnancy-related complications (such as preterm labor or pre-eclampsia), or have fetuses at risk of health problems. To find an MFM, we recommend that you contact your primary healthcare provider for a referral.

The Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM) has a MFM Physician Locator, which can help you find an MFM in your community.
Last updated: 3/31/2011

How can I find a genetics professional in my area?

To find a medical professional who specializes in genetics, you can ask your doctor for a referral or you can search for one yourself. Online directories are provided by GeneTests, the American College of Medical Genetics, and the National Society of Genetic Counselors. If you need additional help, contact a GARD Information Specialist. You can also learn more about genetic consultations from Genetics Home Reference.
Last updated: 7/15/2016

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • PKD
  • Polycystic kidneys
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.