Chronic Kidney Disease Outcomes
CKD can cause a number of health issues including:
- Chronic kidney disease, increases the risk of hypertensive disorders which are a group of diseases that mostly affect women during pregnancy and preterm births in pregnant women.
- It also reduces fertility in women. This can however, be improved by intensive dialysis.
Other Kidney Conditions Prevalent in Women
Apart from chronic kidney disease, another kidney related health issue that affects women is:
- Lupus Nephropathy: A disease caused by an autoimmune disease which involves the body’s immune system attacking its own cells and organs. This condition can lead to kidney infections which are more common in women and have an increased risk during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Related Complications
Just as kidney conditions cause pregnancy related complications, there are some pregnancy related complications that in turn increase the risk for kidney disease. These include:
1. Pre-eclampsia: This is one of the leading cause of maternal mortality which involves a defect of the implantation of the placenta affecting normal kidneys and bringing about hypertension and other health complications. This conditions mostly occurs late in pregnancy and is characterized by high blood pressure in women who have previously not had high blood pressure, swelling of the feet, hands and legs and high levels of protein in the urine.
2. Post-partum haemorrhage: It is the excessive bleeding from the genital tract after a woman has delivered; can be primary or secondary depending on how much blood is lost.
3. Septic abortion: This is induced abortion that gets complicated by a bacterial infection causing fever, parametritis and endometriosis.
4. These 3 pregnancy complications are the leading causes of acute kidney injury (AKI) among young women and those that survive them, have an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
To help in the fight against kidney diseases, especially for women who are the most affected, the following measures need to be put in place:
- Health education: Educating women by creating awareness on the need to get early diagnosis and treatment for kidney related issues, especially during pregnancy. This will enable them to be more alert about their own health and it will in turn reduce the complications that come with kidney related health issues such as chronic kidney disease. With early diagnosis and timely treatment, this helps to increase their chances of survival. With proper education, pregnant women will also be able to plan for interventions such as dialysis, which are needed to prevent pregnancy related complications like pre-eclampsia, which can lead to increased maternal mortality.
- Awareness on prevention measures: Making women aware of how they can prevent themselves from developing kidney diseases will help in reducing the number of women affected by these conditions and the deaths of women brought about by kidney related health problems.
- Promoting affordable and equitable access to healthcare: It is important that women have access to affordable and quality healthcare, in order for them to get the right diagnosis and treatment early enough when they develop kidney issues. This will ensure that less women lose their lives due to kidney related health conditions and any pregnancy complications that can lead to kidney problems.
At International Medical treatment (IMT) we believe in education being the first step to ending many health issues in Africa. To fulfil this year’s theme on inclusivity, value and empowerment on women’s health in relation to their kidneys’ health, take the initiative by sharing this information with as many women as possible.
Let us save the lives of women by creating awareness on the importance of women’s health, also focusing on kidney health.