Pregnancy- and lactation-associated osteoporosis

  • Michael Roy Davey Westville Hospital
  • De Villiers Johannes Tobias University of Stellenbosch
  • Stanley Lipschitz
  • John M Pettifor University of the Witwatersrand


Pregnancy-and lactation-associated osteoporosis is a rare syndrome of spontaneous fractures occurring in late pregnancy or lactation. Early diagnosis and management is essential, because of the severity of the morbidity associated with these fractures. Prior to therapy, other reversible causes of osteoporosis should be excluded through adequate investigation. Treatment includes cessation of breastfeeding, the provision of adequate pain relief, and the use of specific osteoporosis drugs, preferably those with short-term bone retention. Although there is no persuasive evidence that calcium and vitamin D requirements increase during pregnancy or lactation compared to the non-pregnant woman of childbearing age, it is advisable to ensure that women are vitamin D replete during pregnancy and lactation.

Author Biographies

Michael Roy Davey, Westville Hospital
MBBCh, FCOG(SA) Private Practitioner Westville Hospital KwaZulu-Natal
De Villiers Johannes Tobias, University of Stellenbosch
MBChB, MMed (O and G), FCOG(SA), FRCOG Mediclinic Panorama Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Faculty of Health Sciences University of Stellenbosch
Stanley Lipschitz
MBBCh, FRACP Private Practitioner
John M Pettifor, University of the Witwatersrand
MBBCh, PhD, FCPaed(SA) Professor Emeritus Honorary Professional Researcher and Clinical Professor MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit Department of Paediatrics Family of Health Sciences University of the Witwatersrand
Case Study