Pregnancy after solid organ transplantation: a guide for obstetric management

Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2013;6(3-4):116-25.


Successful pregnancy outcomes are possible among all solid organ transplant recipients. Patients should be fully counseled regarding the potential adverse fetal outcomes, including prematurity and low birth weight. Transplant recipients are at an increased risk for both maternal and neonatal complications and should be seen by a high-risk obstetrician in conjunction with their transplant teams. Ideally, preconception counseling begins during the pretransplantation evaluation process. Initiating contraception early after transplantation is ideal, and long-acting reversible methods such as intrauterine devices and subdermal implants may be preferred. Pregnancy should be avoided for at least 1 year after transplantation to limit the potential risks of early pregnancy that may adversely affect both allograft function and fetal well-being. Hypertension, diabetes, and infection should be monitored and treated to minimize fetal risks during pregnancy. Maintenance of current immunosuppression is usually recommended, with the exception of mycophenolic acid products, which (when possible) should be discontinued before conception and replaced with an alternative medication. Throughout pregnancy, immunosuppression must be maintained at appropriate dosing to avoid graft rejection. During labor and delivery, cesarean delivery should be performed for obstetric reasons only. A multidisciplinary team should manage pregnant transplant recipients before, during, and following pregnancy. Breastfeeding and long-term in utero exposure to immunosuppressants for offspring of transplant recipients continue to require further investigation but have been encouraged by recent reports. Continued reporting of post-transplantation pregnancy outcomes to the National Transplantation Pregnancy Registry is highly encouraged.

Keywords: Contraception; Counseling; High-risk obstetrics; Immunosuppression; Pregnancy after transplantation.