Just like Gestational diabetes and pregnancy Induced Hypertension some women get extremely high blood cholesterol levels during pregnancy.
Pregnancy causes a lot of reversibles physiological and pathological changes in a woman’s body which
can sometimes harm the baby, if left unchecked. Some of the commonly seen pathological phenomena
1- gestational diabetes
2- Pregnancy induced hypertension and
3- urinary tract infection
4- Very high blood cholesterol levels
Just like Gestational diabetes and pregnancy Induced Hypertension some women get extremely high
blood cholesterol levels during pregnancy.
Though the first three conditions mentioned need to be supervised very closely as they can affect the
baby or mother in many different ways such as by causing premature rupture of membranes (with UTI),
low birth weight, still birth, pre eclampsia (With pregnancy induced hypertension ) and high birth weight
or premature birth with gestational diabetes.
As compared to the above pathological changes very high cholesterol levels during pregnancy are not
seen to pose any risks to the mother or baby. Women having already highy cholesterol levels before
pregnancy and seen differently as compared to those who attained very high levels during pregnancy.
This is so because pregnancy induced high cholesterol levels are reversible and most of the times
return to pre pregnancy levels just a few months after delivery whereas pre-pregnaancy abnormal lipid
levels remain the same after delivery and thus can cause vascular problems anytime in life.
MAXIMUM CHOLESTEROL LEVEL INDUCED BY PREGNANCY:
Normal cholesterol levels in any individual is below 200 mg/dl.Pregnancy inducesd high cholesterol
levels may vary from slightly increased to very high levels of 300 mg/dl during pregnancy. Though the
level of cholesterol reaching 240mg/dl in a non pregnanct individual poses risk of developing artery
buildup (atheroschlerosis) but there is no such risk by pregnancy induced hypercholesterolemia. This
might be because, not only the bad cholesterol ( LDL which causes arterial blockage) level increases
but the good cholesterol ( HDL which prevents arterial blockage) level increases too.
CAUSE OF EXTREMELY HIGH CHOLESTEROL LEVELS DURING PREGNANCY:
Estrogen and Progesterone are two very essential hormones in a woman’s body which normally regulate
the menstrual cycle an also are very important for a viable pregnancy. Very high levels of these two
hormones trigger the liver to produce very high cholesterol levels during pregnancy.
DOES CHOLESTEROL LEVEL RISE IN EVERY PREGNANT WOMAN?
Cholesterol levels, just like other pregnancy induced pathological processes, do not necessarily
increase in every woman. In some, the liver is highly responsive to increased levels of pregnancy
hormones causing raised blood cholesterol levels whereas in others the it is not.
WHEN DOES THE PREGNANCY INDUCED HIGH CHOLESTEROL LEVEL RETURN TO NORMAL?
High cholesterol levels that purely occured during pregnancy usually return to normal within 1-6 month
time with an early return in those who breast feed their babies. This quick return during breast feeding
is because breast feeding inhibits estrogen.
MEDICATION FOR PREGNANCY INDUCED HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIS:
As there are no health hazards of such rise in cholesterol levels, no medication is required for
hypercholesterolemis induced by pregnancy hormones.
Thus there is nothing to worry about if you get very high cholesterol levels during pregnancy.
Hope this article was helpful.