Study finds low rates of contraceptive use in women with kidney transplant

Women who receive a kidney transplant have low rates of contraceptive use according to new research from the University of Cincinnati.

The study, published in the Journal of Nephrology, finds an overall contraceptive use rate of 9.5% among women with kidney transplants in the United States.

“Although kidney failure adversely impacts fertility, there is a return of reproductive function following a kidney transplant, and conception is common. History of kidney transplant increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, low birth weight babies, and preterm births,” says Silvi Shah, MD, associate professor in the Division of Nephrology, Kidney CARE Program in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and lead author of the study.

“Unplanned pregnancies occur in women with kidney transplants,” Shah adds. “It is of paramount importance that pregnancies in this high-risk population are planned and underlines the importance of counseling women about family planning and the impact of pregnancy on kidney transplant [patients], and the impact of [a] kidney transplant on maternal and fetal outcomes.”

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