Polycystic Kidney Disease and Pregnancy at 20 Weeks

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my Polycystic Kidney Disease and how the obstetric consultant I saw seemed to have overreacted a bit, ordering a scan of my kidneys, additional blood tests and to have my blood pressure and urine checked by the midwife every two weeks. Well, I thought I’d give you a little update!

A couple of Sundays ago (yes, Sunday! Who says the NHS doesn’t work at weekends?!) I went along to have the requested ultrasound scan of my liver and kidneys (the sonographer at my 12 week scan with Little M went wandering with the ultrasound to discover my polycystic liver!). It was an interesting experience! First of all, the sonographer wasn’t sure why I was there because, as I suspected, an ultrasound scan will tell us absolutely nothing new about my condition.

As the sonographer explained, an ultrasound scan can’t tell us anything about how well my kidney’s are functioning. Just that there are hundreds of cysts on them. Lovely. The thing is, though, with my condition, there can be hundreds of cysts on my kidneys; it doesn’t mean that there isn’t also plenty of perfectly functioning tissue, too. Kidney function and health is determined through blood and urine tests. Why my obstetric consultant didn’t know that, I don’t know. The only purpose that the scan really served, was to remind me of my own mortality. Always a pleasure!

Polycystic Kidney Disease at 20 weeks pregnant

Anyway, to avoid me having a wasted journey, the lovely sonographer offered to have a look at the baby, while I was there. This got the nurse very excited and she hurried around the room to have a proper look at the screen, with me. At the time of the scan, I was 17 weeks pregnant, so I asked the sonographer if he could tell the gender. His response was that babies aren’t his area of expertise but from Googling when his wife was pregnant….! So, we had a little game of guess the gender, with him making me promise to wait until my ‘proper’ scan at 20 weeks to know for sure.

I had my 20 week scan on Tuesday, but you’ll have to wait until my gender reveal to hear the outcome of that! Unfortunately, while everything looks fine, the sonographer was unable to get a proper look at everything she needed to measure because the baby was in a difficult position (sound familiar, Little M?!), so I’m having to go back again in a couple of weeks.

As for the obstetric consultant, to my dismay I saw the same one as last time (despite me asking to see my named consultant!) and he a) didn’t notice that the sonographer was unable to get a proper look at the baby’s face and brain and b) sent me on my way before getting my urine results! So I will definitely be firmer about seeing a different consultant next time. It worries me that this consultant seems to be focusing very much on the baby’s kidneys, and not everything else, especially as ADPKD often doesn’t show up on an ultrasound scan until adulthood. As far as I’m aware, I don’t think Polycystic Kidney Disease is associated with any other potential renal implications for the baby, but I could be wrong. Perhaps I’ll do a bit of research of my own!

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