After recovering from a kidney transplant, some women may desire to start a family. According to a new study published in the American Journal of Transplantation, chances of pregnancy after kidney transplant are high. Nearly 74% of pregnancies end in live births.

Researchers responsible for the study, reviewed medical articles and literature published between 2000 and 2010. The review lead researchers to better understand the potential risks and success rates of pregnancies occurring after kidney transplantation. According to the review, women have a good chance of carrying the pregnancy to term, but there are complications associated with the kidney transplant that places these pregnancies in the high-risk category.

While the transplanted kidney works perfectly normally, during pregnancy patients are at higher risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and early delivery. The sooner pregnancy occurs after transplantation, the greater risk of pregnancy complications. The highest rate of complications occurred in women reporting pregnancies within two years of the kidney transplant. After the two year mark, the risk of complications drops by 50%. All three pregnancy complications associated with kidney transplants carry an increased risk of maternal and fetal death.

The information revealed in this study has two effects on women facing kidney transplants. The first is the assurance that pregnancy after transplantation can be successful. The second is the fact that patients should wait at least two years after the transplant before attempting to become pregnant. The study may also help women choose whether to stay on dialysis or have the kidney transplant before starting a family.

Before making the final decision, it is best for women to speak with their gynecologist and the physician treating the kidney disorder about pregnancy, transplantation and possible outcomes and complications.

Source: N. A. Deshpande, N. T. James, L. M. Kucirka, B. J. Boyarsky, J. M. Garonzik-Wang, R. A. Montgomery, D. L. Segev. American Journal of Transplantation. 20 October, 2011.