Advertisement

Can pregnancy increase my risk of gallstones?

Pregnancy may increase your risk of developing gallstones, pebble-like deposits in the gallbladder, the small organ at the base of the liver. Your gallbladder stores bile, a yellowish fluid made by the liver.

Normally after your liver makes bile, the fluid travels through a duct into your gallbladder where it is concentrated and stored until you need it for digestion. Then, during or after a meal, your gallbladder contracts to release the bile into another duct that takes it into your small intestine where it helps in digesting fat from food.

During pregnancy, this gallbladder contraction slows down, causing "bile stasis," where the bile sits in the gallbladder longer than normal. Bile stasis can cause cholesterol to precipitate out of the bile, and solidify, forming a gallstone.

Continue Learning about Gallstones

Is there a cure for gallstones?
Sigma NursingSigma Nursing
There are treatments for gallstones. Ursodiol, or ursodeoxycholic acid, can be taken by mouth to dis...
More Answers
How are gallstones treated?
Dr. Christopher M. Kowalski, MDDr. Christopher M. Kowalski, MD
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) is probably the most common surgery to alleviate...
More Answers
Dr. Rayls - What Causes Gallstones?
Dr. Rayls - What Causes Gallstones?
Can Gallstones Be Broken Up Like Kidney Stones?
Can Gallstones Be Broken Up Like Kidney Stones?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.