Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About Gallbladders July 25, 2011

By Kathleen Guthrie

I was in my 20s when my favorite aunt had her gallbladder removed. As I recall, she told me it was due to pressure from when she was pregnant, and any woman who had more than two babies would have to have the same surgery. My mom, a mother of three, provided further proof when she had a cholecystectomy, as did many of her childbearing friends. So, naturally, I assumed some day, after I was done having babies, I’d lose mine.

Now, as a childfree woman, I look back and wonder if that was all a bunch of old wives hooey. And you know what, it’s not! According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Pregnancy increases the risk for gallstones, and pregnant women with stones are more likely to have symptoms than nonpregnant women.”

And I think, “HA!” Not only do I get to skip the wretchedness of morning sickness and the flesh-ripping pains of childbirth, but I get to keep my gallbladder too. Score another point for the joys of being childfree!

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeWithoutBaby. She’s starting to see the upside of being childfree.


4 Responses to “It Got Me Thinking…About Gallbladders”

  1. happynenes Says:

    I’ve had several pregnant patients have their gallbladders out during pregnancy. Yowch. But you know what’s worse? Hemorrhoids. I’ve had patients with such bad hemorrhoids that they became necrotic and had to be ligated (surgically removed) during pregnancy. Oh, just the thought makes me want to cross my legs.

  2. Kathleen Guthrie Says:

    Another bonus point for the childfrees — no hemorrhoids!!! 🙂 (I got a little woozy reading your description. Yikes!)

  3. Kelly Says:

    I’m watching Toddlers & Tiaras right now – what a train wreck, I can’t look away 🙂

    Enjoying being childless while I watch this hot mess!

  4. loribeth Says:

    Well, I hate to rain on your parade… but… I haven’t had my gallbladder removed (yet) but I have had some problems with gallstones, which were diagnosed a year or two after I finished infertility treatments. I did some reading, & it’s not pregnancy per se that makes you more likely to have gallstones, but there high levels of estrogen. Which of course you have when you are pregnant, but you also get when you are dosing yourself with infertility drugs. :p Of course, every single one of my aunts & uncles on my dad’s side, as well as several of my cousins, have had their gallbladders removed, so genetics also likely plays a role!

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