1 in 150 women will experience intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, or ICP. The disease is associated with a higher risk of the baby being stillborn or born prematurely, so it’s vital to diagnose it early in pregnancy. While it can be dangerous for the baby during pregnancy, the condition goes away after birth.
Symptoms of ICP include itching, and high levels of chemicals made by the liver – bile acids – in the blood. Normally, these flow from the liver to the gut, helping digestion. In women with ICP, the acids instead build up in the body.
Tommy’s researchers are trying to find the best way to treat women with ICP, so their babies are protected from harm.