How does Living Liver Donation Affect Getting Pregnant?
Almost half of all living liver donors are people of childbearing age. If you were born a woman and are thinking about living liver donation, learn how it may affect your ability to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy.
Can I get pregnant if I am a living liver donor?
Donating a part of your liver has not been shown to make it harder for you to get pregnant.
While surgeries in the lower part of your belly (pelvis) and around your reproductive organs (like your uterus) can cause scar tissue and make it harder for you to get pregnant, liver donation surgery is in the upper part of your belly. This is away from your pelvis, so it’s less likely to cause a problem.
Some small studies found that people who donated part of their livers were able to get pregnant at the same rate as other people of childbearing age.
Can being a past living liver donor affect my future pregnancy?
There have not been many studies of pregnant people after liver donation, but most liver donors can have healthy pregnancies.
Research shows that compared to pregnant people who are not liver donors, pregnant people who are liver donors:
- Were more likely to have a C-section (cesarean delivery) instead of a vaginal delivery
- Had changes in their liver enzymes (lab tests) during pregnancy that prompted their doctors to check on their enzymes more closely, but did not affect the health of the mother or baby
- Had more anxiety about getting pregnant and also during their pregnancy
Overall, however, most living liver donors have successful and healthy pregnancies, deliver healthy babies, and do not have pregnancy-related problems. This is similar to national data in the general population.
How long should I wait to get pregnant after living liver donation?
Most transplant centers tell donors to wait to get pregnant for a certain period of time after donation. This time frame varies by center. If you would like to get pregnant after donation, talk with your transplant team during your evaluation process before you donate.
How can I learn more?
To learn more about the evaluation process for possible living liver donors, see Chapter 1 about living liver donor evaluation.