European best practice guidelines for renal transplantation. Section IV: Long-term management of the transplant recipient. IV.10. Pregnancy in renal transplant recipients

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2002:17 Suppl 4:50-5.


A. Renal transplantation restores fertility, and successful pregnancies have been reported in renal transplant women. In women with normal graft function, pregnancy usually has no adverse effect on graft function and survival. Therefore, women of childbearing age who consider pregnancy should receive complete information and support from the transplant team. B. Pregnancy could be considered safe about 2 years after transplantation in women with good renal function, without proteinuria, without arterial hypertension, with no evidence of ongoing rejection and with normal allograft ultrasound. C. Pregnancy after transplantation should be considered a high-risk pregnancy and should be monitored by both an obstetrician and the transplant physician. Pregnancy should be diagnosed as early as possible. The principal risks are infection, proteinuria, anaemia, arterial hypertension and acute rejection for the mother, and prematurity and low birth weight for the foetus. D. Pregnant women and transplanted patients are at increased risk of infections, especially bacterial urinary tract infections and acute pyelonephritis of the graft. Urine cultures should be performed monthly and all asymptomatic infections should be treated. Monitoring of viral infections is also recommended. (Evidence level B) E. Acute rejection episodes are uncommon but may occur after delivery. Therefore, immunosuppression should be re-adjusted immediately after delivery. F. Because pre-eclampsia develops in 30% of pregnant patients, especially those with prior arterial transplant hypertension, blood pressure, renal function, proteinuria and weight should be monitored every 2-4 weeks, with more attention during the third trimester. Anti-hypertensive agents should be changed to those tolerated during pregnancy. ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor antagonists are absolutely contra-indicated. G. Immunosuppressive therapy based on cyclosporine or tacrolimus with or without steroids and azathioprine may be continued in renal transplant women during pregnancy. Other drugs, such as mycophenolate mofetil and sirolimus, are not recommended based on current information available. Because of drug transfer into maternal milk, breastfeeding is not recommended. H. Vaginal delivery is recommended, but caesarean section is required in at least 50% of cases. Delivery should occur in a specialized centre. In the puerperium, renal function, proteinuria, blood pressure, cyclosporine/tacrolimus blood levels and fluid balance should be closely monitored.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Graft Rejection
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / complications
  • Pre-Eclampsia / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy


  • Immunosuppressive Agents