Pregnancy lips. Is that a thing?

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If you have any social media at all you have probably seen Kim Kardashian’s latest #pregnancylips selfies.  She claims that her pregnancies (she did this during her last pregnancy too) caused her lips to swell to epic proportions, much like her sister Kylie’s…except that to my knowledge Kylie has never been pregnant.

As a doctor I was naturally suspicious when I saw these pictures.  During my years of obstetric training this was never a subject that came up in teaching, and was certainly never one brought to my attention by my patients.  With Kim’s history of admittedly (and obviously) using Botox and fillers my first thought was whether she had had fillers injected and was passing this off as a symptom of her pregnancy.

 If you’ve read any of our previous posts with regard to contraindications to Botox and fillers, or pregnancy, you will know that invasive aesthetic procedures are not recommended during pregnancy due to the outcomes of these treatments having not been studied in pregnant subjects.  Even though there may be patients who would be willing to participate in a study to determine whether these treatments are dangerous or not (Kim?), it would be absolutely unethical to carry out such a study and so unfortunately for the foreseeable future ethical practitioners will not be injecting pregnant women.

Assuming that Kim has the best medical team that money can buy one would hope that they would follow the rules when it comes to non-essential procedures in a pregnant woman.  Of course on the flip side of that, it’s obvious that the Kardashian’s aesthetic doctor is comfortable treating teenagers and so perhaps they are a bit more liberal with their treatments than I am?  Logically we know that fillers stay where they are put (bar some unfortunate cases), and that patients who have had fillers just prior to falling pregnant or have had fillers without knowing that they were pregnant have had no adverse outcomes in their pregnancies that can be directly attributed to the filler injection, and so the chances of a filler harming a pregnancy is most likely slim…but still not worth the risk.

On Googling “pregnancy swollen lips” and a host of related things (WARNING: do not try this at home!) it does appear that there are a handful of pregnant women who do complain that their lips have swelled due to their pregnancy.  It seems to be precious few cases when considering the whole internet; there are far more stories around nose swelling during pregnancy (which makes more physiological sense since your nose contains cartilage which naturally softens during pregnancy, while your lips don’t) and on whether you can impregnate your fetus during pregnancy…no comment on that one.

At the end of the day I don’t actually know whether Kim’s lips are a real pregnancy symptom or not!  I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt, she appears to care a lot for her family and I hope she wouldn’t knowingly jeopardize the health of her unborn child in the name of beauty, but as with all things Kardashian a bit of healthy scepticism is always necessary.

If you are NOT pregnant and are considering lip fillers a la Kim and Kylie give us a call on (021) 6833048 extension 1 to book a consultation, or send us an email with any questions you may have on info@capeaesthetics.co.za.

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