Approximately 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients are women. That’s quite a large number, considering the fact that this condition affects nearly 4 million US adults. One period that’s the most crucial in a woman’s life is undoubtedly during her pregnancy. But would the combination of fibromyalgia and pregnancy be as painful and dangerous as it sounds?
If you are dealing with fibromyalgia but wish to have a kid, then it’s best to have thorough understanding of both the conditions. Although it might not be easy, you’d still be able to manage fibromyalgia during your pregnancy with the right method and knowledge.
It is important to check with your doctor to know how exactly you can control your fibromyalgia flares. In addition, to get you more prepared, we would love to provide basic information of what it’s like having fibromyalgia while pregnant.
Pregnancy’s Effects On Fibromyalgia Symptoms
The level of pain felt by each fibromyalgia patient is very different, similar to the level of sickness during pregnancy. However, most women will generally experience more pain during child bearing. Even healthy ladies would start to feel uncomfortable, especially in the last trimester.
As the baby is growing bigger day by day, the pressure on the mother’s lower back also increases. This is also an area that patients usually feel the most pain in. In this period, your back might hurt more than during usual fibromyalgia flares.
However, during pregnancy, the body will release a hormone known as relaxin. The effect of this chemical will help release the tension in muscles and joints. Thus, you may feel less aching in those areas.
In general, the fibromyalgia patient will experience more pain in the lower back and hip area during pregnancy, compared to their usual fibromyalgia symptoms.
Fibromyalgia’s Effects On Pregnancy
There has been little to no info on whether having fibromyalgia will affect the chances of having a baby. However, the pain can likely reduce the patient’s sexual desire and sexual activities frequency. This may reduce the probability of contraception.
But does fibromyalgia have any negative effect on the baby during a pregnancy? To answer this question, a study was conducted and issued in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. The researcher observed 112 fibromyalgia patients during their pregnancy, and conclude the following:
- The baby might have growth restriction
- There might be more chance of abortions
- Their blood sugar level is unusually high
- Signs of more excess amniotic fluid
On the bright side, the study also suggested that there would be less chance of premature delivery of the baby.
Pregnancy can be very tough on fibromyalgia patients, since they have to endure extra physical and emotional stress. If not careful, depression and fatigue caused by fibromyalgia can worsen.
Fibromyalgia Medications And Pregnancy
During pregnancy, you can only take certain prescribed medicines that have safe ingredients. This is to prevent any negative effect on the fragile life that’s growing inside you.
If you’re taking medications for your fibromyalgia symptoms, talk with a doctor to see if you can continue to use them. Some antidepressants and pain relievers might not be safe to use during this period. The doctor will give you the most precise advice, and will suggest other alternative medications for you if any.
On the other hand, if you’re still worried that your fibromyalgia medicine can have unknown side effects, then switch to nonmedical therapies instead. Yoga, hydrotherapy or acupuncture are few of many effective remedies for fibromyalgia that will be safer for pregnant moms.
Fibromyalgia And Pregnancy: Treating Fibromyalgia While Being Pregnant
Dealing with two painful conditions at the same time is certainly very stressful. For a pregnant woman, the severe tension and tiredness will be a challenge to get through. Even with the slightest change in the weather or daily routine can make them anxious and exhausted.
If you already have fibromyalgia before considering getting pregnant, consult with your doctor to see what works best for your health. You might have to change your routine, medications and remedies in order to make it safer for the baby.
The recommended treatments during pregnancy are yoga, exercising, massage and meditation. You should also take time during the day to rest regularly. For any painful area on the body, apply heat or take a warm shower to ease the discomfort.
On the other hand, fibromyalgia can emerge for the first time during pregnancy. It’s unknown whether pregnancy stress is the trigger or not. However, the changes in hormones as well as all the pressure from being pregnant can increase the physical pain.
Fibromyalgia symptoms can easily be mistaken for common pregnant signs, such as back pain and fatigue. This might cause the fibromyalgia symptoms to be undertreated, thus affect the patient and the child’s well-being.
Therefore, it’s essential that the patient thoroughly understands what hardship both fibromyalgia and pregnancy may bring. At the same time, support and encouragement from friends and family is also necessary to the soon-to-be mom.