There are several challenges that arise in caring for women with hereditary angioedema (HAE). Most notably, the disease course during pregnancy is unpredictable, but studies show that plasma-derived C1-inhibitor is effective and safe for treatment of attacks as well as long-term prophylaxis (LTP) in select patients. Vaginal deliveries are preferred to caesarean sections, and epidural anesthesia is preferred to general anesthesia in lowering the risk of an acute attack. Lactation postpartum may increase HAE attacks. With regard to contraception, combined oral contraceptive pills that contain estrogen exacerbate symptoms. Similarly, estrogen-replacement therapy in menopause may increase attacks and is contraindicated. Fertility is not impacted by HAE itself or by HAE medications. The risk of breast cancer and female reproductive cancer in women with HAE is comparable with that of the general population, but, in patients with HAE and breast cancer, LTP with androgens is contraindicated. Estrogen modulators, e.g., tamoxifen, should be used with caution. Here, we reviewed these special considerations and others that are vital to providers in caring for women with HAE.
Available from: https://dx.doi.org/10.2500/aap.2020.41.200077