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Like HAE, no two pregnancy experiences are the same. Although HAE attacks can fluctuate in frequency or severity during pregnancy, thankfully there are FDA-approved therapies available that can help you throughout pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. With proper care and planning, you and your child can have a healthy and safe birth experience with HAE.
Talk to your HAE treating physician as well as your obstetrician in advance about your HAE treatment plan while pregnant and facilitate communication between your HAE physician and obstetrician to ensure any questions related to your perinatal care are addressed.
HAE is an inherited condition, and each baby born to a parent with HAE has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disease. You may wish to speak to a genetic counselor if you have specific questions about HAE as an inherited condition.
Those who are struggling to conceive might be considering fertility treatment options. Injections and fluctuations in the female hormone estrogen can have an influence on HAE symptoms. These patients should work particularly closely with their doctors and monitor for attacks throughout fertility treatments.
While some women do not experience any HAE attacks while pregnant, others report an increase in their frequency and/or severity during this time of hormonal change. It is particularly important to pay special attention to your triggers and early signs of attacks during pregnancy to ensure you are prepared to safely handle any potential attacks.
During pregnancy, treatment with anabolic steroids (also known as androgens) such as danazol, oxandrolone and stanozolol is contraindicated. You may wish to discuss new FDA-approved HAE medications with your physician to develop an individualized treatment plan for before, during and after giving birth.
Ensure you have an acute HAE treatment available at the hospital where you plan to deliver. You should also secure any additional treatments you may need (acute and prophylactic) for post-delivery (including after you are discharged).
HAE attacks are rare at the time of delivery, but there is some indication that an increased frequency and severity of attacks is possible postpartum. Ensure you have enough medication on hand in the weeks and months following delivery, while your body is undergoing hormonal changes.
Some HAE medications are safe and effective treatments to take while breastfeeding. If you are considering breastfeeding your child, speak with your physician about what treatment options may be right for you.
While you may likely be eager to learn whether your child also has HAE, it is recommended that you wait until your baby is at least one year old to test for HAE to ensure a more accurate test result.