C-reactive protein during pregnancy: what is the link?


La C reactive protein is considered a marker of inflammation in the body. This is the reason why its dosage is often part of the examinations prescribed before a case of affection. In this article, we will discuss about C-reactive protein or CRP during pregnancy.

C-reactive protein, what is it exactly?

C-reactive protein or CRP is a protein of hepatic origin. It is synthesized by fat cells in the liver and then released into the blood a few hours after the onset of inflammation or infection.

CRP plays an essential role in the immune defense against external agents. It is secreted by the liver in response to an inflammatory state and can disappear with inflammation.

This form of protein is present in small quantities in a healthy body. Its normal concentration is 5 to 6 mg/L. This increases in the hours following an inflammatory or infectious process, even before the appearance of symptoms (fever, pain, etc.). Then it decreases when the causative agent is eliminated.

High CRP primarily indicates inflammation. The more the inflammation intensifies, the more the level of CRP increases. The CRP level is said to be high when it is greater than or equal to 10 mg/L. In some cases, it can go up to 50 mg/L. This is often linked to bacterial infections.

The measurement of the rate of C reactive protein is done from a simple blood test. The assay can be carried out in all situations or diseases likely to produce inflammation such as infectious pathologies, musculoskeletal (lumbago), autoimmune diseases (arthritis, phlebitis, Horton's disease, etc.) or burns.

Too high a CRP concentration may signal the presence of a condition. However, other factors can also cause C-reactive protein levels to rise in the blood. These include genetics, physical inactivity, excessive stress, exposure to toxins (smoking) or obesity.

You can read more about this inflammatory marker in this article.

C-reactive protein and pregnancy: what is the link?

During pregnancy, the body increases the production of certain specific hormones such as progesterone and estrogen. This allows good development of the fetus, preparation of the body for childbirth, the initiation of breastfeeding and protection against certain risks (hemorrhages, etc.). Basically, these hormonal changes will allow the pregnancy to progress properly.

If we only talk about estrogen, its level increases considerably during pregnancy. It is a growth hormone. Its main role is to allow the increase in the volume of the uterus necessary for the development of the foetus. But in addition to this, estrogen also promotes hepatic secretion of proteins, including C-reactive protein.

As a result, CRP levels may be moderately elevated during pregnancy, especially during the later stages. Thus, a fairly high CRP during pregnancy does not necessarily indicate a condition. If this is your case, don't worry, it's completely normal.

What must be remembered is that once released into the blood, CRP will participate in the immune response in order to eliminate pathogens. This may be the case during an inflammatory phase or during pregnancy.

However, we must always remain vigilant and regularly monitor the concentration of this hepatic protein. Abnormally high values ​​can indicate several underlying pathologies, hence the need to consult a doctor as soon as possible, especially if you are pregnant.

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