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Reflux Nephropathy - I have reflux and want to get pregnant. Will there be problems?


I have reflux and want to get pregnant.
Will there be problems?

By the time they are old enough to have children, most women who had reflux as a baby will have grown out of it and will have a normal pregnancy. However, there is a risk of problems. These are urine infection; high blood pressure; and kidney failure.

Urine infection

Urine infection is common for any woman during pregnancy. The womb presses on the bladder and on the ureters (drainage tubes from kidneys to bladder). Urine does not flow so easily out of the body, and disturbance to the normal flow of urine makes infections more likely. In some cases, it may be best to take antibiotics on a long term, low dose basis through pregnancy. Doctors do not advise medication in pregnancy lightly, but sometimes the risks to the baby may be greater from repeated infections in the mother than from a once daily antibiotic.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure towards the end of pregnancy is important, because if it is not treated, serious problems can occur in mother and baby. If someone with reflux nephropathy has a scarred kidney, high blood pressure is much more likely to develop. The warning sign for this is protein in the urine. Therefore a woman known to have reflux nephropathy who has protein in the urine early in pregnancy should be watched very closely for high blood pressure later in pregnancy.

Kidney failure

Kidney failure is very unusual unless the kidneys are already not working properly at the start of pregnancy.

Some larger hospitals have clinics run by a kidney specialist and an obstetrician working together, to provide extra care for pregnant women with kidney diseases. Ask your GP or obstetrician about any such service in your area.

The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.

NKF Controlled Document No. 13: I have reflux and want to get pregnant. Will there be problems? written: 28/10/2002 last reviewed: 17/07/2017