Why stones appear in the gallbladder during pregnancy

Carrying a baby is a very important and responsible period for every woman. At this time, the body is experiencing a very high load on all organs, intensive hormonal changes also occur, the purpose of which is full-fledged bearing of the fetus, and immunity decreases in pregnant women. These factors often exacerbate chronic diseases, including exacerbated during pregnancy, stones in the gallbladder.

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Pregnancy and carrying a child

During pregnancy, the gallbladder, along with the rest of the abdominal organs, is displaced due to the growing uterus. With stones in the gallbladder, pregnancy should take place under the strict supervision of a physician. You will need to follow the diet prescribed by the doctor, other methods of preventing exacerbation of cholecystitis. With physiological changes, symptoms of glandular inflammation may occur. Constant pressure on the organ provokes bile stagnation, colic.

Frequent exacerbation of the gastrointestinal tract during gestation is due to the fact that with an increase in the concentration of the hormone progesterone (which relaxes the muscular apparatus), favorable conditions are created for bile to circulate slowly. Constant stagnation of secretion in the organ and its ducts leads to exacerbations of cholecystitis. The main causes of the pathological process during pregnancy are:

  • improperly formulated food, eating large quantities of animal fats, fried, spicy foods,
  • congestion in the bile,
  • persistent inflammation,
  • changes in hormonal background,
  • increasing the concentration of cholesterol in the blood fluid.

The fact that a stone appears in the gallbladder is also influenced by a constantly growing child. In order for the placenta to develop fully, the level of progesterone is constantly increasing, and this is a direct effect on all muscles in the body. During gestation, it is this hormone that weakens the walls of the gallbladder, its functions are disrupted, and secretion stagnates. This is also the reason for the formation of stones.

Diagnosis and symptoms

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Symptoms of gallstone disease in many cases are latent, or in a blurred form. During pregnancy, with the appearance of biliary colic, the symptoms are pronounced. If calculi were previously found in the organ (even if they are small), this is always a risk during gestation. With a gradual increase in calculi in size, this is fraught with blockage of the bile ducts, due to which an attack of colic appears. With the appearance of such problems with bile, there is a violation of the passage of bile into the intestine, and digestion processes are disrupted.

The main symptoms that indicate the development of the disease are:

  • sudden, paroxysmal pain in the right hypochondrium,
  • bouts of nausea or vomiting
  • the urine becomes cloudy and darkish
  • feces become light, since bile does not enter the intestines,
  • yellowing of the epidermis and mucous membranes,
  • bitter taste in the mouth,
  • heartburn after eating, heaviness in the right hypochondrium.

In this case, painful sensations can radiate to the shoulder girdle, to the neck. And when the fetus moves, severe colic appears. After eating fatty foods, vomiting appears almost immediately.

Diagnostic measures during gestation will help determine the exacerbation of gallstone disease. Instrumental examination methods include ultrasound. Laboratory diagnostic methods include: general analysis of blood and urine, coprogram, study of biochemical parameters of blood fluid. Additionally, Doppler sonography is prescribed, with the help of which the condition of the fetus is determined, an ultrasound examination of the fetus.

Does gallbladder disease affect the child?

Cholelithiasis does not have a direct effect on the development of the fetus. This pathology indirectly affects the health of the baby, since it can develop:

  • the risk of an infectious process in the body, the development of inflammatory processes in the body of a pregnant woman,
  • the symptoms of the disease are aggravated.

If infection occurs and the symptoms of the disease worsen, the condition of the expectant mother worsens. She experiences stress, no matter what week of pregnancy it is, sleep and appetite are disturbed, and this always negatively affects the child.

Gallstones in the gallbladder can trigger the development of preeclampsia. In this condition, a woman suffers from edema, the concentration of protein in the urine increases, and a sharp increase in blood pressure is observed. And in the presence of peritonitis, there is a threat to the life of the expectant mother.

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Is it possible to give birth

You can give birth with gallstones. But there must be certain conditions. Necessarily with the development of the disease during the period of bearing the baby, competent treatment of gallstone disease is carried out. If the calculi are too large, there is a threat to health and life, in which case the pregnant woman is shown an emergency delivery, after which the doctor performs a laparoscopic removal of the formations.


What to do if stones appear during pregnancy? Cholecystectomy or removal of the gallbladder during pregnancy is often not performed, since any surgical intervention can pose a threat to the life of the pregnant woman and be a threat to the fetus. The indication for the extraction of stones from the gallbladder is a threat to life, severe pain, fever and other pronounced symptoms that cannot be stopped by traditional methods.

If a colic attack occurs, you should immediately call an ambulance. The only thing a pregnant woman can do on her own is to take a noshpa or papaverine pill.

The treatment tactics after a doctor’s examination and diagnosis are as follows:

  • choleretic drugs are prescribed to reduce the stagnation of secretion in the organ and its ducts,
  • the appointment of medications that will help relieve spasms and improve the functioning of the digestive system,
  • medicines to relieve general symptoms,
  • if bacterial microflora joins, the doctor prescribes antibiotics,
  • herbal infusions to enhance the outflow of bile.

To prevent the development of problems with the organs of the digestive system, it is recommended, even at the stage of planning conception, to undergo appropriate diagnostic measures and a course of treatment for the diseases detected.

An obligatory step is a special diet. It is prescribed not only for the duration of treatment and exacerbation, but is also recommended for the entire period of bearing a child. You cannot prescribe any drugs on your own. Only a specialized specialist is involved in the treatment.

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.