Obstetric Complications of Anorexia Nervosa - Abstract
Abstract The eating disorder, Anorexia Nervosa (AN), leads to a malnourished state and negatively impacts every system of the body. There are unique obstetric and gynecological concerns affecting females with this illness, and despite recent findings, several misconceptions persist. Among these is the fallacy that females with AN cannot get pregnant. Though many patients with AN experience amenorrhea, a considerable minority continue to retain their menses, and should be educated about the possibility of unplanned pregnancy. When pregnancy does occur, it is considered high risk, with increased likelihood of miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight infants. Patients with AN should be seen by a high-risk obstetric specialist and have a multidisciplinary team consisting of eating disorder experts including a registered dietician and a psychotherapist. Given their underweight status, a weight gain of 30-40 lbs is recommended. Contrary to previous thought, women who recover from AN do not have a greater risk for infertility, though resumption of menses can take up to 12 months. Though oral estrogen is beneficial to treat osteoporosis of post-menopausal women, oral estrogen is not beneficial for bone health in AN.