Pregnancy is a state in which cholesterol increases physiologically in order to meet maternal and fetal needs. In a normal pregnancy, the total cholesterol level can increase by as much as 30-50% over baseline levels in a process known as maternal physiological hypercholesterolemia.
In cases of familial hypercholesterolemia and in some cases of mothers with normal cholesterol levels prior to pregnancy, there may be a higher than physiological increase, with values exceeding 280-300mg/dl.
It has been seen that hypercholesterolemia can cause endothelial damage (damage to the blood vessels) in the fetus causing more future predisposition to hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease. It has also been proposed that isolated hypertriglyceridemia is related to the development of preeclampsia although total hypercholesterolemia may also affect endothelial dysfunction and arterial inflammation-causing hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
Hypertriglyceridemia can also cause acute pancreatitis, a rare but potentially lethal disease for the mother and fetus, and there is little evidence on its management and treatment. In the event of hypercholesterolemia, it is important to go to the gynecologist for a thorough study and a multidisciplinary approach together with other specialists.