I'm 29 and was diagnosed 8 years ago with portal hypertension due to a chronic schistosoma infection (therefore had an enlarged spleen and jaundice at the time). Since then I've been taking a low (I believe) dosage of spironolactone, propranolol and furosemide to control my blood pressure and water retention.
My question, led by me & my man wanting to have a baby within the next few years, is this: Will the following issues cause complications and if so, how can I get around them?
1. My menstrual cycle is very irregular (I often go several months without a period. Never been on the pill/injection etc. Never been pregnant)
2. Was rushed to hospital 5 months ago to have a bleeding oesophageal varix ligated. This was the first time I had a rupture but it could happen again.
3. My liver function is impaired obviously (though to what extent I couldn't say). I bruise easily and there's some platelet issue - a bleeding cut takes a while to clot.
4. I'm on a rather spare medical aid plan right now, so frequent visits to any kind of specialist are limited. I was advised to come in for a gastroscopy every 6 months. With pregnancy, would this be more often?
Before this year my health was sort of at the back of my mind, to be honest, so I haven't been particularly diligent, other than taking the medication. Otherwise I'm in ok shape, feel fine, take care of my body as best I can - eat fairly healthily, swim regularly, and don't drink (I used to have a glass or 2 of wine fairly often until 5 months ago).
I just wanted to know what to expect should I become pregnant, and whether it would be wiser to have a baby sooner rather than later. I'm in a longterm relationship and we have discussed all of this.
It would be difficult to comment on the situation without the relevant clinical details such as the severity of the condition, complications etc or a detailed clinical evaluation. There are two main considerations here i.e. the effect of pregnancy of portal hypertension and the effect of portal hypertension of pregnancy. I would suggest considering a evaluation by a gastroenterologist and a gynaecologist to chalk out the pros and cons appropriately.
Hope this is helpful.
Thank you, yes, I understand it would be best to see both a gastroenterologist and an ob/gyn. I was hoping for an overall idea of what I'm facing, I guess, so that I have my questions laid out when I consult them.
For example, is it a particularly unsafe someone in my condition to get pregnant? What kinds of complications are likely? Is it "safer" to have a baby now, rather than in 5 years, when my condition might have worsened?
Or simply, how worried should I be at the prospect? I see though that it woud be hard to say without all the details, as you say. Thank you anyway :)
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