Diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy and the postpartum period: Iron deficiency anemia working group consensus report

Api O., Breyman C., Cetiner M., Demir C., Ecder T.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY, vol.12, no.3, pp.173-181, 2015 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.4274/tjod.01700
  • Page Numbers: pp.173-181


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anemia is the most common disease, affecting >1.5 billion people worldwide. Furthermore, iron deficiency anemia (IDA) accounts for 50% of cases of anemia. IDA is common during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and can lead to serious maternal and fetal complications. The aim of this report was to present the experiences of a multidisciplinary expert group, and to establish reference guidelines for the optimal diagnosis and treatment of IDA during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Studies and guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of IDA published in Turkish and international journals were reviewed. Conclusive recommendations were made by an expert panel aiming for a scientific consensus. Measurement of serum ferritin has the highest sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of IDA unless there is a concurrent inflammatory condition. The lower threshold value for hemoglobin (Hb) in pregnant women is <11 g/dL during the 1st and 3rd trimesters, and <10.5 g/dL during the 2nd trimester. In postpartum period a Hb concentration <10 g/dL indicates clinically significant anemia. Oral iron therapy is given as the first-line treatment for IDA. Although current data are limited, intravenous (IV) iron therapy is an alternative therapeutic option in patients who do not respond to oral iron therapy, have adverse reactions, do not comply with oral iron treatment, have a very low Hb concentration, and require rapid iron repletion. IV iron preparations can be safely used for the treatment of IDA during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and are more beneficial than oral iron preparations in specific indications.