Birth Definitions

Pruritus Gravidarum Definition


Pruritus gravidarum is a medical condition that is characterized by itching during pregnancy. The itch can occur anywhere on the body but is most commonly felt on the abdomen, breasts, and thighs. It can range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by redness, swelling, and blistering. Pruritus gravidarum is more common in the third trimester of pregnancy but can occur at any time during pregnancy.

The exact cause of pruritus gravidarum is unknown, but it is thought to be related to changes in hormones and blood flow during pregnancy. Itching is a common symptom of pregnancy and is caused by the stretching of the skin as the baby grows. In some cases, pruritus gravidarum may be caused by an underlying medical condition such as diabetes or thyroid problems.

Diagnosis, Risk Factors, Complications

Pruritus gravidarum is diagnosed based on the symptoms and medical history. There is no specific test for pruritus gravidarum, but your doctor may order blood tests to rule out other conditions.

There are severas risk factors for pruritus gravidarum.

  • Being pregnant with twins or multiple babies
  • Having a history of eczema or other skin conditions
  • Having dry skin
  • Taking certain medications during pregnancy, such as cholestyramine or erythromycin

Complications associated with pruritus gravidarum are rare. However, severe itching can lead to sleep loss and anxiety. In rare cases, pruritus gravidarum can lead to a condition called cholestasis of pregnancy, which can be dangerous for both the mother and baby.

Treatment for pruritus gravidarum

There is no cure for pruritus gravidarum, but there are ways to help relieve the itchiness. These include:

  • Applying moisturizer regularly, especially after bathing
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing made of natural fabrics such as cotton
  • Avoiding hot showers or baths
  • Taking oatmeal baths
  • Over-the-counter antihistamines or topical corticosteroids
  • In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids or immunosuppressants.

This image shows how often the term ‘Pruritus Gravidarum’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:

Other Related Terms

Pruritus Gravidarum should not be confused with other similar terms such as:

Pregnancy itching – Pregnancy itching is a common symptom that can occur at any time during pregnancy. It is usually mild and goes away after delivery.

Cholestasis of Pregnancy – Cholestasis of pregnancy is a condition that can occur during pregnancy and is characterized by itching, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin.

Preeclampsia – Preeclampsia is a condition that can occur during pregnancy and is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.

Eclampsia – Eclampsia is a severe form of preeclampsia that can lead to seizures.

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