Background: The survival of patients with cystic fibrosis has increased. More women with cystic fibrosis reach reproductive age and wish to become pregnant. The aim of this work was to study the outcome of completed pregnancies in women with cystic fibrosis in Norway and Sweden.
Methods: A retrospective audit from medical records was performed for 33 successful pregnancies in 23 women from the cystic fibrosis center in Norway and two cystic fibrosis centers in Sweden. Lung function, body weight and use of antibiotics together with other medical data were related to the complications and outcomes of the pregnancies.
Results: The most frequent complication of the pregnancies was preterm delivery, which occurred in 24% of cases. The lung function of the women was significantly lower in the preterm group than in those delivering at term. Those who went on to deliver preterm were more likely to have other cystic fibrosis complications including diabetes, asthma or liver disease. The weight gain of the women with cystic fibrosis delivering preterm was less than in the term group (corrected for gestation), but the frequency of pulmonary infections did not differ. As for the total group, lung function did not deteriorate during pregnancy, even though the need for intravenous antibiotics was doubled compared with the year before and after pregnancy. Weight gain in pregnancy was on average 10.3 kg, and almost half of the women needed supplementary nutrition. Gestational diabetes developed in four of the 23 patients. Caesarean sections were performed in eight of the 33 deliveries (24%), and 26 of the babies (79%) were breast-fed. None of the 33 children suffered from cystic fibrosis.
Conclusion: Women with cystic fibrosis with mild to moderate disease may safely go through pregnancy. In those with severe disease, preterm delivery is common. A team approach is necessary to provide the best medical care for pregnant women with cystic fibrosis.