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Can You Have A Child With One Kidney

Why Does This Happen

Can you have a baby if you have chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

Normal kidneys remove waste products from the body, and make sure the body has the right balance of water and salts. They also control blood pressure, help keep bones and teeth strong and healthy, and control the production of red blood cells. If there are no kidneys, the body cannot do this work.

While a baby is growing in the uterus , he or she floats in amniotic fluid. This protects the baby from getting hurt from the outside and helps the lungs mature so that he or she is ready to breathe after birth. The baby swallows or breathes in the amniotic fluid.

Normally, the kidneys develop and start making urine. The baby passes the urine out, adding to the amount of amniotic fluid. If the baby does not have kidneys, he or she cannot produce urine, and this leads to not enough amniotic fluid this is called oligohydramnios. This can stop the lungs fully developing.

What Is A Kidney Transplant

Kidneys are vital organs that filter blood to remove waste, extra fluid, and salt from the body. If they stop working, it’s called kidney failure. Someone with kidney failure must go on or get a kidney transplant.

A kidney transplant is an operation where doctors put a new kidney in the body of someone whose own kidneys no longer work. One healthy kidney will do the work of two failed kidneys.

Because people can survive with just one kidney, a living person can give a healthy kidney to someone with kidney failure. This is called being a donor. A kidney also can come from a donor who has recently died, but the wait for this kind of donated kidney can take a year or more.

Most kidney transplants are successful. People who have kidney transplants will take medicines for the rest of their lives to prevent the body from rejecting the kidney. Rejecting means that the body’s immune cells destroy the new kidney because they sense that it’s foreign.

But aside from that, many kids and teens who have kidney transplants go on to live normal, healthy lives after they recover from surgery.

Tests And Diagnosis In Pregnancy

The 20 week antenatal ultrasound scan looks at your baby growing in the womb. If the person doing the ultrasound cannot see kidneys, or can only see a small amount of tissue where the kidneys should be, bilateral renal agenesis will be suspected.

The scan also measures the amount of amniotic fluid , the fluid that your baby floats in. The babys kidneys start making urine and pass this out into the amniotic fluid. This fluid protects your baby from getting hurt from the outside and helps his or her lungs mature so he or she is ready to breathe after birth. If there is very little or no fluid, this is another sign of a serious problem with the kidneys, such as bilateral renal agenesis.

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What Is Renal Agenesis

Renal agenesis is a condition in which one or both kidneys fail to form while a baby is developing in the womb. When only one kidney forms, the condition is known as unilateral renal agenesis. When neither kidney forms, itâs known as bilateral renal agenesis. Unilateral renal agenesis occurs in about 1 in 2,000 births. Bilateral renal agenesis is more rare, occurring in about 1 in 4,000 births. Both conditions are about three times more common among boys than among girls.

Kidneys form between the fifth and 12th week of pregnancy, and begin producing urine by the 13th week. A babyâs urine is the major contributor to the amount of protective liquidâamniotic fluidâthat surrounds the baby in the womb . In addition to containing important nutrients, hormones, and antibodies, amniotic fluid plays a crucial role in all aspects of the babyâs development, especially lung development.

As long as there is a single healthy kidney with normal amniotic fluid volume, babies born with unilateral renal agenesis generally have no health problems. In about 50 percent of cases, however, the condition is accompanied by additional birth defects. These defects most commonly involve the urinary system, the genitals, the heart, and the central nervous system .

Your Childs Treatment Team

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Your childs care team should include:

  • a paediatric nephrologist, wholl monitor your childs kidney health and can provide treatment
  • a paediatric hepatologist, wholl monitor your childs liver health and can provide treatment

Depending on your childs needs, additional specialists involved in his or her care could include:

  • a perinatalogist and neonatalogist, who provide monitoring, care and advice before and after birth
  • a paediatric gastroenterologist, who can help to treat any problems with your childs gut or digestion
  • a geneticist or genetics counsellor, who can provide information, advice and counselling on inherited diseases
  • a feeding specialist or dietitian, who can help to ensure your child gets the nutrients they need
  • a psychologist or psychiatrist, who can help with behavioural or psychological problems your child may develop

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Getting Pregnant With One Kidney

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How Is Unilateral Renal Agenesis Managed Before Birth

If your baby is missing a single kidney, the prenatal care you receive will center on acquiring as much information about the babyâs condition as possible so that we can be prepared during and after delivery to provide optimal care. That includes collecting information on other possible birth defects.

We use several different techniques to gather that information, including high-resolution ultrasonography and fetal echocardiogram. If these tests reveal no birth defects other than the single missing kidney, your baby will not require any special prenatal treatment. An extra ultrasound may be done in the late second or early third trimester of your pregnancy, but otherwise you will receive routine prenatal care.

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Urine Blockage And Reflux

Treatment for urine blockage depends on the cause and severity of the blockage. In some cases, the blockage goes away without treatment. For children who continue to have urine blockage, surgery may be needed to remove the obstruction and restore urine flow. After surgery, a small tube, called a stent, may be placed in the ureter or urethra to keep it open temporarily while healing occurs.

Treatment for reflux may include prompt treatment of urinary tract infections and long-term use of antibiotics to prevent infections until reflux goes away on its own. Surgery has also been used in certain cases.

Diet For Living With One Kidney

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The best diet guidelines for living with one kidney will vary depending on your health status 9. Generally speaking, a kidney-healthy diet involves cutting down on sodium, measuring your protein intake, limiting high-fat foods and limiting alcohol 6.

If you’re a healthy person who made a living donation of your kidney, you can likely resume your normal eating habits after recovery. If you suffer from chronic kidney disease or kidney stones, your doctor may suggest certain dietary guidelines 12.


If your solitary kidney is healthy, you likely wont have any specific dietary restrictions. You can follow a kidney-healthy diet low in sodium and alcohol to help prevent any future issues.

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What Is Fetal Echocardiogram

Fetal echocardiography is performed at our center by a pediatric cardiologist . This non- invasive, high-resolution ultrasound procedure looks specifically at how the babyâs heart is structured and functioning while in the womb. This test is important because babies with birth defects are at increased risk of heart abnormalities.

Can A Man Who Is On Dialysis Or Who Has A Kidney Transplant Father A Child

Yes. Men on dialysis or those who have a kidney transplant can father children. If you’ve been trying to father a child for a year or more without success, talk with your doctor. A man with kidney disease or kidney failure may be helped with a routine fertility checkup. Also, some medications that are used after a transplant can reduce a man’s ability to father children. If you have a transplant and would like to father a child, talk with your doctor about your mediations.

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Should I Be Checked For Kidney Problems

Childhood cancer survivors should have medical check-ups at least yearly that include a blood pressure check and urinalysis.

In addition, at your first long-term follow-up visit , you should have a blood test to assess your kidney function and electrolytes. If you have low levels of blood salts and minerals you may need to take prescription supplements to avoid long-term health problems, such as heart problems.

If you have high blood pressure, protein in the urine, or other signs of worsening kidney problems, you should see a kidney specialist .

What Happens If I Can No Longer Work

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If you have to stop work or work part-time because of CKD, you may find it hard to cope financially.

You may be entitled to one or more of the following types of financial support:

  • if you have a job but cannot work because of your illness, you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from your employer for up to 28 weeks
  • if you don’t have a job and cannot work because of your illness, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance
  • if you’re aged 65 or over, you may be able to get Attendance Allowance
  • if you’re caring for someone with CKD, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance
  • you may be eligible for other benefits if you have children living at home or a low household income

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Needing An Extra Kidney

Sometimes our kidneys stop working. When this happens our blood cannot be cleaned and we can get very sick. The only way to stay alive is to be attached to a big machine that cleans your blood for you, or have a kidney transplant.

This happened to me when my kidneys stopped working properly. My dad gave me one of his kidneys. Thanks, Dad.

There are two people involved in a kidney transplant: a donor who is going to give their kidney, and a recipient who will receive the kidney.

After the new kidney is put into the recipient, both the donor and recipient only have one kidney that works properly. Both the donor and the recipient can live long happy lives with only one kidney. They just have to take extra care that they eat healthily and exercise to stay fit. One person living in Australia has been using a transplanted kidney for 45 years!

So, while your body works best when all of your organs are inside you and working properly, scientists still dont exactly know why we have two kidneys. However, it is good to know that we have a few spare parts that we can live without.

And if youre an adult reading this, its good to make sure you are registered as an organ donor and also chat to your family so they know you want to donate. You may one day save a life.

What Are The Complications Of A Solitary Kidney

Complications from a solitary kidney are rare but may include

  • increased protein in the urine, known as albuminuria.
  • a lower-than-normal glomerular filtration rate , which measures how quickly your kidneys filter wastes and extra fluid from your blood. While less common, this complication can at times lead to kidney failure.
  • high blood pressure.
  • high blood pressure during pregnancy. This complication less commonly results in organ damage in the mother or child, a condition known as preeclampsia.

People with kidney agenesis or kidney dysplasia can be at an increased risk for developing kidney disease. For example, if your solitary kidney functioned normally during childhood, you still have an increased risk of having decreased kidney function as an adult.4,5

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Dysplasia

Many babies with kidney dysplasia in only one kidney have no signs of the condition.

  • In some patients, the affected kidney may be enlarged at birth and may cause pain.
  • The affected kidney may be enlarged at birth.
  • Abnormalities in the urinary tract may lead to urinary tract infections.
  • Children with kidney dysplasia may develop high blood pressure, but only rarely.
  • Children with kidney dysplasia may have a slightly increased risk for kidney cancer.
  • Chronic kidney disease and kidney failure may develop if the child has urinary problems that affect the normal kidney.
  • Many children with kidney dysplasia in only one kidney have no signs or symptoms.
  • muscles and skeleton, or
  • other parts of the urinary tract.

A baby may also develop kidney dysplasia if his or her mother takes certain prescription medications during pregnancy, such as some used to treat seizures and high blood pressure. A mothers use of illegal drugs, such as cocaine, during pregnancy may also cause kidney dysplasia in her unborn child.

Pregnancy And Kidney Disease

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A new baby is a joy for any family. But pregnancy can put a lot of stress on your body. If you have kidney disease or kidney failure, it can put you and the health of your unborn child at risk.

Are you thinking about pregnancy? If so, you should discuss it beforehand with your doctor or other healthcare provider. They know you, and they can help you make a decision that is based on your own personal health. There are many things to consider. You and your doctor should discuss them all very carefully. Some things that can affect a healthy pregnancy include:

  • Your stage of kidney disease
  • Your general health
  • Having high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease
  • Having other serious health conditions
  • Protein in your urine

Here are a few brief answers to some common questions about kidney disease and pregnancy.

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Can I Continue Working

If you’re well enough, you can keep working for as long as you feel able.

Talk to your employer as soon as you feel your condition is affecting your ability to do your job so you can find a solution that suits both of you. For example, it may be possible for you to work part-time.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to help a person with a disability.

This might, where possible, include changing or modifying tasks, altering work patterns, installing special equipment, allowing time off to attend appointments, or helping with travel to work.

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What Are The Complications Of Kidney Dysplasia

The complications of kidney dysplasia can include

  • hydronephrosis of the working kidney. A baby with kidney dysplasia in only one kidney might have other urinary tract defects. When other defects in the urinary tract block the flow of urine, the urine backs up and causes the kidneys and ureters to swell, a condition called hydronephrosis. If left untreated, hydronephrosis can damage the working kidney and reduce its ability to filter blood. Kidney damage may lead to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.
  • a urinary tract infection . A urine blockage may increase a babys chance of developing a UTI. Recurring UTIs can also lead to kidney damage.

How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Solitary Kidney

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During pregnancy, a health care professional can diagnose kidney agenesis and kidney dysplasia while conducting a prenatal ultrasound. Ultrasound uses a device, called a transducer, that bounces safe, painless sound waves off the fetuss organs to create an image of their structure. Ultrasounds during pregnancy are part of routine prenatal testing.

If a fetus is diagnosed with kidney agenesis or kidney dysplasia, health care professionals may recommend additional ultrasounds before and after the birth to find out how the solitary kidney functions over time and to check for other health problems.

In an adult, health care professionals may diagnose a solitary kidney during an x-ray, ultrasound, or surgery for some other condition or injury.

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What Are The Different Types Of Kidney Transplants

There are two kinds of kidney transplants depending on who donates the new kidney.

A living-donor transplant is when someone gets a kidney from a person who is still alive and well. It’s usually from a relative or close friend, but sometimes strangers donate.

A is when people donate their kidneys for transplant after they die. This requires people who need kidneys to put their names on a waiting list until a donor is found.


Keeping Your Single Kidney Healthy

Treatment for childhood cancer sometimes requires the removal of one kidney. You can live a normal life with one kidney, as long as it remains healthy. Heres what you need to know to assess your risk for problems with your single kidney and to help keep it as healthy as possible.

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