Pregnancy and CIDP connection?

Is there a connection between pregnancy and CIDP? I started symptoms during my pregnancy. I am Rh negative but that normally makes your antibodies attack the baby, not your own body. Perhaps there is a connection?

I'm not an expert, but that seems like a real stretch. Given that millions of people get pregnant every year without getting CIDP, and given that plenty of males and non-pregnant females get CIDP, I can't see how there can be any connection.

Yes! My symptoms started during my third month of pregnancy and got worse post partum. At the time, I was told it was fluid retention compressing the nerves, and later carpal tunnel when it spread to my hands. There is not a lot of research on this but there is some out there suggesting that pregnancy is a trigger for CIDP. It is not hormone based like a lot of autoimmune diseases are, but relates to the immune system changes that occur during pregnancy. There have been a few others on this site who have had symptoms start during pregnancy too. I think it’s a small subset of the CIDP population but it does happen.

My CIDP also started during pregnancy. While I don’t thing pregnancy causes CIDP, I do think there is a strong hormonal link. I asked a similar question on this forum several years ago and had many people respond that they too saw a connection between hormones and their CIDP symptoms (worse symptoms at certain times in their cycle for women). Unfortunately, my neurologist says there is no research to substantiate any link.

I am now on hormone replacement therapy. Since going on therapy, which for me means a large amount of progesterone since my body seems to produce none at all, I have finally (after 6 years) been able to reduce the amount OF IVIG I receive each month.

There IS research that shows low progesterone can lead to autoimmune problems. I’d love to see more specific research with CIDP.

Well, that's pretty interesting. Definitely worth a closer look.