Side Effect of High SGPT SGOT during Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Monika Dubey
Written by Hexahealth Care Team, last updated on 10 August 2023
Side Effect of High SGPT SGOT during Pregnancy

SGPT (serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase) and SGOT (serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase) are liver enzymes that help convert food into energy. These enzymes are predominantly produced by the liver but can also be found in the cells of the brain, heart, and kidneys. SGOT and SGPT are also known as AST (aspartate aminotransferase) and ALT (alanine transaminase), respectively.

If high amounts of SGOT and SGPT are present in the blood, it can either be a result of leakage of the enzymes from the liver cells or excess production of these enzymes by the liver due to damage. This is why SGPT and SGOT levels are also indicators of the liver’s health. High SGPT and SGOT in pregnancy can be life-threatening for the mother and the foetus. 

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Rise of SGPT SGOT During Pregnancy

Some studies show that a slight increase in SGOT and SGPT levels can be noticed during the third trimester, but in most cases, their levels do not change during pregnancy. However, pregnancy does lead to many physiological changes in a woman’s body, which can also affect the normal functioning of the liver, thus, leading to high SGOT and SGPT in pregnancy. 
So, the rise in SGPT and SGOT may not be directly linked to pregnancy but may indicate a liver disease caused due to pregnancy or pre-existing disease that flared during the pregnancy (these diseases are discussed in detail below).
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What Are the Normal Levels of SGPT and SGOT?

The normal range of values for SGPT is about 7 to 56 units per litre of serum, and for SGOT, it is 5 to 40 units per litre of serum. 
Slightly increased levels of SGPT and SGOT are usually considered normal during pregnancy, but if these levels are high, they may indicate a liver disease which can be dangerous for both the mother and the foetus.
Side effects of high SGOT and SGPT during pregnancy depend on the type and severity of liver disease in the patient. 
Here are some of the liver diseases that may occur or worsen during pregnancy:

Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy (AFLP)

It is a rare complication of pregnancy that occurs in less than 0.1 % of pregnant women. AFLP occurs due to a deficiency in the enzyme (3-hydroxy acyl-CoA dehydrogenase) that helps break down the long chains of fatty acid. 
The symptoms of AFLP are usually observed during the third trimester. However, the symptoms can vary in different individuals. They may include:- 
  1. A feeling of fullness in the upper right side of the belly 
  2. Abdominal pain 
  3. Nausea and loss of appetite
  4. Jaundice 
  5. Weight loss
  6. Fatigue and weakness 
Risks and Complications
Fatty liver can harm both the mother and the foetus during the pregnancy. If left untreated, it can lead to the following complications:
  1. Bleeding tendency 
  2. Intrauterine death 
  3. Delayed foetal growth 
  4. Premature delivery 
  5. Increased risk of patient mortality 

Chronic Liver Damage (Cirrhosis)

Cirrhosis may be present before pregnancy and may worsen during the pregnancy. If someone is already suffering from liver cirrhosis, doctors usually advise not to continue with the pregnancy as it increases the risk of:
  1. Intrauterine death 
  2. Patient’s mortality 
  3. Variceal bleeding (swelling and bleeding in the veins present on the lining of the oesophagus) during the second or third trimester. 
Cirrhosis may or may not show any symptoms during the early stage. Even if the symptoms are present, they may be easily mistaken for some other disease. For example, 
  1. Swelling in the abdomen 
  2. Fatigue
  3. Nausea
  4. Weight loss 
However, if cirrhosis becomes severe, it may include the following symptoms:
  1. Easy bruising 
  2. Jaundice
  3. Itching on the skin 
  4. Confusion or memory loss 
  5. Blood in stool
  6. Swelling in the legs, feets, and ankles

Viral Hepatitis E

Viral hepatitis E (HEV) is found to be more common in the underdeveloped and developing countries of Asia and Africa. It is transmitted through the faecal-oral route. In 50% of cases, the infected mother passes on HEV to her newborn child. It can be prevented by washing hands responsibly. 
Hepatitis A, B, and C usually don’t involve any risks during pregnancy and can be easily managed in most cases. But Hepatitis E can harm both the mother and foetus, especially during the second and third trimesters. 
The signs and symptoms of viral hepatitis E resemble those noticed in other types of acute hepatitis infections and liver injury. These may include:
  1. Mild fever
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Jaundice (dark urine and pale stool)
  4. Nausea and vomiting 
  5. Enlarged and tender liver 
Risks and Complications 
Viral hepatitis E can get severe in rare cases resulting in life-threatening conditions. Women who are in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy are more exposed to the risk of the following complications:
  1. Acute liver failure
  2. Loss of foetus 
  3. Premature delivery
  4. Patient’s mortality
  5. Autoimmune Hepatitis
Autoimmune hepatitis occurs when the body’s immune system starts attacking the liver cells. It is more common in women, and it may be present before the pregnancy and can flare up at any time during the pregnancy or the postpartum period. 
  1. Nausea and vomiting 
  2. Jaundice
  3. Fatigue
  4. Itching 
  5. Rashes 
  6. Joint pain 
  7. Risks and Complications
  8. Premature delivery
  9. Low-birth-weight infants
  10. Loss of foetus
Other liver diseases that are caused due to pregnancy may include:
  1. Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy 
  2. Preeclampsia and Eclampsia
  3. HELLP (haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelet count) syndrome
  4. Hyperemesis Gravidarum

How to Bring Back SGPT and SGOT levels to normal?

To control high SGPT and SGOT in pregnancy, doctors may suggest a blood test to diagnose the underlying cause. The treatment to reduce the level of SGOT and SGPT depends on the underlying reason that caused the increase of these enzymes. The doctors recommend medications and lifestyle changes as per the underlying condition.

Simple Ways to Maintain Healthy SGOT and SGPT levels in Your Body

A lifestyle that includes smoking, excessive alcohol use, and lack of physical activities can lead to fat deposition in the liver, increasing the risk of liver diseases. Including a proper diet and incorporating healthy lifestyle changes in your daily routine can help prevent liver-related problems, thus, avoiding high SGOT and SGPT in pregnancy. Here are some simple tips to follow:

  1. Maintain Healthy Food Habits 
    Include a more organic and nutrient-rich diet in your routine, if you consciously make decisions about your diet plan, it can significantly decrease the risk of liver disease. 
  2. Tips for a healthy diet
    1. Eat food rich in vitamin D, including eggs, oranges, soy milk, tofu, dairy products, liver oil, mushrooms, etc. 
    2. Colourful and leafy vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, carrot, spinach, and potatoes, have high antioxidants, so incorporate more of them into your diet. 
    3. Reduce the intake of oily, deep fried, processed, and junk food. Aerated drinks are also not good for liver health. 
    4. Only take those medications that the doctor prescribes. Don’t self-medicate. Medicines contain chemicals that can be harmful to the liver and the foetus. 
  3.  Changes in Lifestyle 
    The following lifestyle changes can also help in enhancing liver health:
    1. Avoid the use of alcoholic beverages. 
    2. Smoking is bad for overall health. Passive smoking should also be avoided. 
    3. Include physical exercises like jogging, brisk walking, cycling, swimming, etc. in your daily routine which can help prevent obesity, therefore reducing the risk of liver diseases. 
    4. Avoid exposure to harmful chemicals using gloves, masks, and other protective devices. 
  4. Regular Health Checkups 
    1. High SGOT and SGPT in pregnancy can be used as indicators of liver health. But liver diseases often don’t show any symptoms until they progress to a chronic stage. This is why going for regular health checkups is important to diagnose the damage at an early stage so that it can be managed in time. An SGOT test is one such test carried out to get the liver profile of the patient. 

So, along with taking care of your diet and including physical activities in your routine, you should also consider full body checkups at regular time intervals to prevent serious liver damage and avoid high treatment costs. Choosing a trusted healthcare organisation is also necessary to get accurate and reliable test results. 

The expert team at Hexa Health can help you find the best health care organisation around you for a medical checkup. 

In case you want to ask any doubts about the side effects of high SGOT and SGPT levels during pregnancy, feel free to contact our Hexa Health experts for further knowledge. They will also guide you to reduce your SGOT and SGPT levels effectively.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the function of SGOT?

SGOT (serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase), also known as AST, is one of the two enzymes produced by the liver. But it is also commonly found in the heart, kidney, and brain cells. It is crucial to our body as it helps the liver to convert food into energy. The presence of high levels of SGOT in the body indicates that the liver is either injured or irritated.

What is the function of SGPT?

SGPT (serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase), also known as ALT, is another enzyme mainly produced by the liver. SGPT and SGOT help in metabolism and are considered indicators of liver health.

What happens if SGPT and SGOT are high in pregnancy?

A slight rise in the SGPT and SGOT levels in the blood is normal and doesn’t require any medical attention. However, if the levels rise to double the normal value, it needs proper medical management.

What causes high SGPT in pregnancy?

During pregnancy, several hormonal and physiological changes in the body can negatively affect the functioning of the liver and raise the levels of SGPT. However, high SGOT and SGPT in pregnancy may also indicate a liver-related disease, as SGPT is normally found in the cells of the liver. And when there is damage to the liver, high levels of SGPT may be released into the blood.

What is the normal range of SGPT and SGOT in pregnancy?

The normal range of values for SGPT is about 7 to 56 units per litre of serum, and for SGOT, it is 5 to 40 units per litre of serum.

What are the elevated levels of SGOT and SGPT?

If the values of SGOT after the tests are higher than 45 units per litre of serum in females (more than 50 for men), then it may indicate a problem.

How can I reduce SGOT and SGPT in pregnancy?

Simple lifestyle changes can help reduce SGOT and SGPT levels in the body. For example:
  1. Consuming a diet rich in vitamin D, such as oranges, eggs, and dairy products
  2. Including leafy and colourful vegetables in the daily diet as they have high antioxidants. 
  3. Avoid high amounts of salt and sodium-rich food. 
  4. Do regular exercises to maintain the overall health of the body. 

What are the symptoms of high SGPT?

The following signs and symptoms can be noticed with the rise in SGPT levels in the body:
  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Jaundice
  3. Easy bruising
  4. Problem in breathing 
  5. Weakness and fatigue 
  6. Excessive bleeding 
  7. Swelling in the leg area

What are the simple home remedies to lower your SGPT and SGOT levels in the blood?

Simple lifestyle changes can help keep the liver healthy, preventing high SGPT and SGOT in pregnancy. These changes may include:- 
  1. Regular exercises, such as swimming, brisk walking and jogging can help prevent obesity. 
  2. Avoiding smoking (even passive smoking) and use of alcohol that may cause harm to the liver. 
  3. Avoiding junk food 
  4. Staying away from harmful chemicals 

Will the levels come back to normal after delivery?

It depends on the underlying causes that led to the increase in the levels of SGPT and SGOT in pregnancy. Some cases, including Hepatitis A infection, get better in three to four weeks bringing the liver enzymes to the normal level. So, the duration of returning to normalcy depends on the severity of liver disease (if present) and the liver’s health before pregnancy.

Updated on : 10 August 2023


Dr. Monika Dubey

Dr. Monika Dubey

MBBS, MS Obstetrics & Gynaecology

21 Years Experience

A specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with a rich experience of over 21 years is currently working in HealthFort Clinic. She has expertise in Hymenoplasty, Vaginoplasty, Vaginal Tightening, Labiaplasty, MTP (Medical Termination...View More


About Authors

HexaHealth Care Team

HexaHealth Care Team brings you medical content covering many important conditions, procedures falling under different medical specialities. The content published is thoroughly reviewed by our panel of qualified doctors for its accuracy and relevance.

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