Pregnancy and Lactation Associated Osteoporosis

Published on Feb 23, 2021in Calcified Tissue International3.423
· DOI :10.1007/S00223-021-00815-6
Sarah A. Hardcastle1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases)
Pregnancy-associated osteoporosis (PAO) is a rare condition of skeletal fragility affecting women in pregnancy or the postpartum period. During normal pregnancy and lactation, substantial changes in calcium metabolism and skeletal physiology occur in order to meet the demands of the developing foetus. Whilst these adaptations are reversible and generally of no clinical consequence for the mother, a small number of women will develop osteoporosis and suffer fragility fractures. Vertebral fractures occur most commonly in PAO and are often multiple. Due to the rarity of PAO, systematic study to date has been limited. Aetiology is poorly understood, but traditional osteoporosis risk factors and genetic factors are likely to play a role. A small number of cases may be due to an underlying metabolic bone disorder or monogenic condition. Management of PAO is challenging, due both to a poor evidence base and the fact that spontaneous improvement in BMD is known to occur once pregnancy and lactation are complete. Bisphosphonates, denosumab and teriparatide have all been used in individual patients, but the data supporting their use are currently limited.
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