Pregnant women

Causes For Low Lymphocyte Levels In Pregnancy

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 27, 2017
Causes For Low Lymphocyte Levels In Pregnancy

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cells (what we commonly call defenses) whose function is to produce antibodies to defend against viruses and tumor cells. Lymphocytes values are counted in percentages within white blood cells, a normal range is between 20% to 40%. In OneHowTo we reveal what the causes of low lymphocyte levels in pregnancy are.

Lymphocytes during pregnancy

From the start of the pregnancy the immune system of the woman naturally becomes depressed so that it does not reject the fetus and to avoid detecting it as a foreign body and destroying it due to the presence of antigens from the father which are recognized as different to those of the mother. Thus, lymphocytes, which are responsible for the removal of abnormal cells, are reduced for the sake of the fetus.

The origin of this decline of lymphocytes in normal pregnancy is due to the increase in hormones that are secreted in the woman's body, hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, corticosteroids and chorionic gonadotropin.

  • Progesterone: Reduces lymphatic activity decreasing the mother's reactive capacity against the antigens of the fetus.
  • Corticosteroides: They have an immuno-suppressive effect, they are in fact a treatment for allergic disorders and other autoimmune diseases.
  • Oestrogens: At the doses which are reached in pregnancy inflammation reactions are reduced.
  • Chorionic gonadotropin: It acts directly reducing a type of lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, responsible for coordinating the immune cellular response.

This is a natural cause of low lymphocyte levels during pregnancy.

Low lymphocyte levels can also be due to external factors such as if you are having drug-based or x-ray treatment.

Causes For Low Lymphocyte Levels In Pregnancy - Lymphocytes during pregnancy

Other common causes

Like any person, a pregnant woman can be have low lymphocytes due to other diseases:

  • Obesity
  • Alcohol and other drug use
  • Malnutrition, low protein diet
  • Deficiency of iron, copper, zinc, selenium, vitamins A, C, E, B6, B9 (folic acid)
  • Pathology in the thymus, organ of the lymphatic system whose function is to develop and mature the immune response.

Above all it is important to strengthen defenses with a good night's sleep, a balanced diet, a healthy supplement such as Chyawanprash, and exercising according to individual characteristics.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Causes For Low Lymphocyte Levels In Pregnancy, we recommend you visit our Family health category.


  • We always recommend that if you have any doubts you see your doctor or leave your comment here.
  • There is no reason to worry if your lymphocyte count is just slightly low from average.
Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Neeraj Mathpal
My wife is pregnant(7th month) and her lymphocyte level is near about 15%. Please advice
My lymphocytes are 06% in 33 weeks 5 days what should I have to do
OneHowTo Editor
The first thing to do is not to worry in advance. Go to your doctor so he/she can check the underlying cause for the low lymphocyte count so you can be treated effectively.
Hope this helps
My lymphocytes are low I'm 21 weeks pregnant and mine are at 8%. When I looked at my former bloodwork it was 28% (2 years ago) and 16% (3 months ago). When tested for HIV the test came back negative and I don't have Hep C. My question is should I be worried. Thanks in advance.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Jackie,
As mentioned in the article above, it's normal to have low lymphocytes during pregnancy due to the increase in hormones.
If you have been tested and your doctor said there is nothing to worry about you should keep calm.
Hope this helps!
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Causes For Low Lymphocyte Levels In Pregnancy