Bone marrow donation and pregnancy


Does anyone here have any knowledge of whether or not a woman in the 1st/2nd trimester of pregnancy can be a bone marrow donor? I'm not looking for "advice", only if this is unheard of, or if it has been experienced by anyone you all know.
My friend is a perfect match for her brother, who has AML (acute myelogenous (sp?) leukemia), but she is also 12 weeks pregnant.

Can a woman at this stage of gestation go under general anesthesia (generally speaking), or have bone marrow aspirated at all?
I'm sure moderators will delete this if it comes too close to the line of medical advice.


No, they’re not supposed to. What does the pregnant woman’s doctor say?

Are you asking if it’s against Catholic teaching to donate marrow while pregnant? That I don’t know. But donating marrow while pregnant is contraindicated. That doesn’t mean it’s not done in emergent situations…


Thanks for the quick response. She just found out today that he's likely (whatever that means) relapsed. He went for his regular checkup and his numbers were abnormal, so he's having his marrow checked on Monday. My own dh lost his first wife to AML, and he remembers that they didn't waste any time, so my friend is thinking that they'll be wanting to do the transplant right away. (Her brother has already gone through standard chemo). She's info gathering right away via online communities and internet since she won't be able to contact her doc until Monday.


I don't know about the pregnant woman angle, but I thought that one could undergo bone marrow transplants only when there was no sign of disease. I think they irradiate to kill all the existing marrow, as well. We had a friend whose young son had traveled to the place where they were to do a transplant and they discovered he had just relapsed and couldn't pursue it. :(

My prayers are with everyone involved.


My dh just said that yes, what you said is true (he lost his first wife to AML) about my friend’s brother needing to be in remission. However, the question would still be the same, I would think. Can a pregnant woman endure the anesthesia and/or aspiration in the first place? If not, then I expect that they have to come up with another plan for him on Monday, so she needs to make her decision ASAP, right?
Thanks so much for pointing this out, though. I’ll remind my friend of that!!


I think that those are specific questions a doctor needs to address; we are not allowed, or equipped, to give these answers here.


I know that when I signed up for the National Marrow Registry, they told me to call and let them know if and when I got pregnant again, and they would take my name off the list until I was 6 months postpartum. They said I wouldn't be able to donate during that time, and that they like to know beforehand so they don't waste time trying to contact you only to find out that you're currently ineligible. So it definitely sounded like they don't make exceptions. With that said, though, I don't know what the risks are exactly, or if a particular doctor would make an exception if the mama was willing to take the risks.

Praying for your friend's brother. :gopray:


Also praying for your friend's brother.


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