Short answer, yes, pregnancy does have an effect on your kidneys.
Nearly all pregnant women experience changes in their kidneys during pregnancy, but for most it never causes a problem. Some are more prone to infections (hence why UTI’s and kidney infections are more common during pregnancy), or kidney stones, and other people, like me, experience severe hydronephrosis.
The hormones of pregnancy slow the function of the kidneys, and also, the uterus can put pressue on ureters, which in turn causes hydronephrosis (kidneys that stay dilated and do not want to drain).
In my case, my kidneys are 100% healthy and normal when I am not pregnant, but for some reason when I am pregnant, my kidney function slows drastically.
In my first pregnancy, it was only my right kidney that was effected. It stopped draining all together and I required a stent to be placed in order to assist with drainage. I needed this procedure 3 times while I was pregnant, and once after birth.
I am now pregnant with my 2nd, and both kidneys are effected. We’re really hoping to avoid surgeries this time.
In your case, since you already have slowed kidney function, I wouldn’t be surprised if you experience a form of hydronephrosis like I have. Typically it poses little risk so long as you’re in consultation with a urologist who monitors it and ensures no to little damage. You may very well need a stent, but of course, I am not a doctor, so that’s all something you can discuss when the time comes.
My experience with hydronephrosis was that it is quite painful. Some of the time the stent worked to relieve the pain, but others did not. It did effect my baby as well. She was IUGR because of the stress on my body, and I had to have her a little early (38w 4d). She was 100% healthy otherwise, and my kidney returned to normal after birth.
This time …we’ll we’ll see how it goes!
I think it’s good that you are thinking about this now. A lot of it will be playing it by ear. Best wishes, and if you ever have any questions about my experience, I’m always here to talk about myself & my experience 🙂 hehe