Itching and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy

Pregnancy symptoms

Itching and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy

Itching is common in pregnancy. Usually, it’s thought to be caused by raised levels of hormones. Also, the stretched skin of your tummy as it grows can feel itchy. However, sometimes itching can be a symptom of a liver condition called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), also known as obstetric cholestasis (OC), which needs medical attention.

Mild itching
Mild itching is not usually harmful to you or your baby, but it can sometimes be a sign of a more serious condition, particularly if you notice it more in the evenings or at night.

Let your doctor know if you are experiencing itching so they can decide whether you need to have any further investigations.

How to cope with mild itching?

Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP)
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a potentially serious liver disorder that can develop in pregnancy. There’s no known cure for ICP, but it should go once you’ve had your baby.

When does ICP happen?
Symptoms of ICP typically start from around 30 weeks of pregnancy, but it’s possible to develop the condition as early as 8 weeks.

What are the symptoms of ICP?
For many women with ICP, the symptoms are often:

Other symptoms can include:

When to get medical help?
You should go to the hospital for a check if you have:


Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat (OB-GYN) (30 June 2020)


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