Fibromyalgia may cause pregnancy complications and infertility, studies found. A condition characterized by widespread pain, fibromyalgia can make daily tasks difficult to perform. Fibromyalgia is highly associated with stress, which can be worsened when pregnancy is thrown into the mix – not to mention changing hormone levels typical for this period in a woman’s life cycle.
One retrospective cohort study looked at women with and without fibromyalgia. Deliveries of 112 pregnancies in fibromyalgia patients were compared to 487 deliveries in women without fibromyalgia.
Women with fibromyalgia had higher rates of intrauterine growth restriction, recurrent abortions, gestational diabetes, and polyhydramnios. Rates of cesarean delivery were not significantly different between fibromyalgia patients and women without fibromyalgia.
The researchers concluded that fibromyalgia is an independent risk factor for intrauterine growth restriction. Nevertheless, fibromyalgia patients had lower preterm deliveries.
The biggest concern in pregnant women with fibromyalgia is the physical and emotional toll pregnancy can have on a woman. It’s important that patients with fibromyalgia control their stress levels to prevent the aggravation of their fibromyalgia condition. Patients are advised to plan pregnancy during times where symptoms are less severe. They are also urged to eat a healthy diet and partake in regular moderate exercise.
Fibromyalgia medications and pregnancy
Currently, fibromyalgia medications are not completely safe to take during pregnancy. Many doctors actually recommend that some women stop taking fibromyalgia medications such as painkillers and antidepressants for the time of their pregnancy. Before making the decision to come off fibromyalgia medications, it’s important to speak to your doctor to understand the risks that may be involved.
Tips for coping with fibromyalgia during pregnancy
As mentioned, pregnancy in itself can be stressful, and stress can worsen fibromyalgia, so it’s important to control your stress levels as much as possible. Here are some other tips to help you cope with fibromyalgia during pregnancy as well.
- Educate yourself prior to becoming pregnant, especially with regards to your medications.
- Be at your best mental and physical state at the start of your pregnancy, as pregnancy can take a heavy toll on your body.
- Educate family and friends about fatigue and pregnancy in fibromyalgia, so they are understanding of your condition and lend a helping hand.
- Manage pain and fatigue as you always would, but ensure you do have the green light from your doctors. It is not recommended that you take long, hot baths while pregnant, for example, so speak to your doctor about other natural remedies you can resort to.
- Get additional help during the postpartum stage.
- Be more active, as living a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to muscular atrophy, which can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Pace yourself – even if you are feeling well, overworking yourself can leave you feeling way below your best the next day.
By working closely with your doctor, you can have a successful pregnancy – even with fibromyalgia.
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