Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy: Reasons, Signs, Risks & Treatment

Fibromyalgia During Pregnancy – Causes, Signs, Risks, and Treatment

Fibromyalgia and pregnancy affect twice as many women as males in the United States, accounting for 2% of the adult population. Despite this, relatively little study on the relationship between pregnancy and fibromyalgia has been conducted. Women with fibromyalgia, particularly first-time mothers, may find pregnancy’s first and second trimesters exceedingly tricky owing to their pain, fatigue, and stress.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal illness characterized by fatigue, sleep, cognitive, and behavioral issues. This illness may amplify pain by altering how the brain and spinal cord interpret pain and non-painful details.

What Triggers Fibromyalgia in Pregnancy?

“Can pregnancy cause fibromyalgia?” There is no reason to believe that pregnancy causes fibromyalgia; however, the disease may be triggered by physical or mental stress in any woman, regardless of pregnancy. With all that goes into pregnancy, labor, and delivery, it’s clear that this is an emotionally and physically draining period. Estrogen, progesterone, and other hormone levels fluctuate throughout pregnancy. Even if you do not have fibromyalgia when pregnant, you should anticipate that your pain and other symptoms will increase after delivery. 

Effects of Fibromyalgia in Pregnancy

Throughout pregnancy, your body creates an abundance of hormones, and weight increase skews your body, resulting in a distinct physical form and appearance. Most pregnant women feel nausea and tiredness, particularly during the first three months. “How does fibromyalgia affect pregnancy?” is a common question. The symptoms of fibromyalgia were exacerbated during pregnancy. Pregnant women who have fibromyalgia experience severe physical pain, fatigue, and anxiety frequently, especially during the first three months of pregnancy.

Can Fibromyalgia Cause Any Effect on Delivery? 

The impact of fibromyalgia on pregnancy and delivery is still a mystery. According to some research, the presence of the disease may harm the baby’s birth. The brain’s development may be affected by the disorder. Women with fibromyalgia are more likely to experience more pain during labor and delivery than those without the condition. Diagnosis of fibromyalgia in pregnancy may or may not be passed on to the kid, but no one is sure. Fibromyalgia may have a negative influence on the development of a baby. Therefore it’s crucial to be aware of this.

  • Fatigue and high-risk pregnancy problems are common in women with fibromyalgia, impacting labor and delivery. While the baby’s development will not be affected by the illness, but it may delay healing. 
  • You should not postpone pregnancy because of fibromyalgia. Before the child’s birth, she should begin preparing for childbirth by making a detailed birth plan and staying away from stressful situations.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia in Pregnancy 

According to a study released in 2013, fibromyalgia symptoms were more prevalent around the time of delivery. However, they found that these ladies had no more discomfort during childbirth than the rest of the mothers. These different signs and symptoms are associated with both pregnancies and fibromyalgia. According to the following, they are:

  • A sense of unease
  • Head haze, fatigue, and labile emotions
  • Women with fibromyalgia who get pregnant may find that motherhood’s emotional and physical strain worsens their symptoms.

Risks of Fibromyalgia in Pregnancy 

Fibromyalgia may increase a variety of pregnancy-related hazards for you and your child, some directly and others indirectly, resulting from co-occurring disorders. Women with fibromyalgia are at a higher risk of problems during pregnancy. The following are a few instances of fibromyalgia pregnancy complications that may raise the dangers of pregnancy:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress has an impact on the psyche

Fibromyalgia patients are more prone to acquire this illness, and studies indicate that it may have a detrimental effect on the placenta and the unborn child’s development. If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, you should see a physician, and they may be able to assist you in managing them more effectively and minimizing your risks. Pregnant women who have fibromyalgia may encounter the following difficulties:

  • Intrauterine growth limitation occurs during pregnancy when the fetus cannot reach average weight.
  • Recurrent miscarriage is defined as a miscarriage that happens more than twice in succession.
  • Although early birth is feasible, research on this subject is unclear.
  • There is no evidence that the illness is linked to an increased risk of birth abnormalities.

Obesity has been associated with an increased chance of cesarean delivery. However, the research results on the issue are inconsistent (C-sections). Furthermore, a spinal anesthetic may improve fibromyalgia symptoms, such as that used during C-sections. Consult your physician to determine if any alternatives to general anesthesia are available in the case of surgical delivery.

Treatment for Fibromyalgia in Pregnancy

Treatment for Fibromyalgia in Pregnancy

Fibromyalgia may be treated and managed with medication and lifestyle adjustments. The following medications are used to treat fibromyalgia:

1. Acetaminophen

This drug is available over the counter, as are prescription pain relievers, anti-depressants, and anti-seizure medications (OTC).

2. Prescribed Pain Relievers

Prescription pain medication abuse is a significant public health concern. Addiction and abuse are possible dangers. It is critical to follow all medical directions and take medicine exactly as your doctor prescribes. However, this article will discuss these drugs in general. This is not intended to be medical advice.

3. Anti-depressants 

Individuals suffering from depression often struggle with a job, family, and social circumstances. Individuals who have outbursts may face legal consequences due to their actions. Numerous anti-depressants are available on prescription. Choosing the appropriate drug for you will be determined by your unique circumstances.

4. Anti-seizure Medications 

Numerous anti-seizure drugs are available. These medications exert three distinct pharmacological effects. The first is a rise in the threshold for motor cortex activity, making nerves less excitable and less likely to cause seizures. The second effect is a decrease in the conduction speed of nerve impulses inside a cell. Each anti-seizure medicine has several advantages and disadvantages, and it’s critical to understand what to anticipate from each.

Consult your physician before discontinuing any drug, including those used to cope with fibromyalgia during pregnancy. Apart from this, individuals who have fibromyalgia may benefit from a range of lifestyle adjustments, including the following:

1. Mild Exercise 

Exercise is a critical component of the treatment strategy for any pregnant lady suffering from fibromyalgia. However, you should follow some measures before

starting the program. Whether you’re exercising in a pool or using a therapy ball for back pain, it’s critical to consult with your doctor first.

2. Coping Behavioral Treatments

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a frequently used treatment of fibromyalgia. This treatment aims to assist patients in identifying negative thoughts and actions and enhancing their coping abilities. Its fundamental assumption is that we generate our own experiences and suffering. By altering our negative beliefs, we can change our perception of pain and enhance our coping abilities. This technique is particularly beneficial in people who suffer from low-level rumination and severe symptoms.

3. Adequate Sleep 

Getting sufficient sleep during Fibromyalgia In Pregnancy is critical for your overall health and well-being, regardless of what your doctor tells you. After a long day’s work, your body needs appropriate rest to heal itself and refuel. Avoid taking extended naps throughout the day, and keep your caffeine consumption bare minimum.

4. Avoid Smoking 

Smoking, a natural stimulant, should be avoided at all costs, and you should seek more sleep.

These techniques may also assist a pregnant woman in maintaining her health.

Are Fibromyalgia Medications Safe in Pregnancy? 

During the delivery process, further pain control medication may be necessary. In the current state of affairs, fibromyalgia medications during pregnancy are not entirely risk-free. Physicians advise women with fibromyalgia to stop taking pain relievers and anti-depressants before becoming pregnant to avoid complications. If you decide to stop taking any medications, consult your physician first.

Does Fibromyalgia Affect the Baby?

It is unclear what should be expected regarding the influence of fibromyalgia on pregnancy from the perspective of medical professionals. For its part, according to a study published in 2011 by Trusted Source, there is some evidence to support the notion that people who have fibromyalgia are more likely to suffer from intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). In this condition, the baby’s development is slowed while still in the womb, resulting in a significantly smaller stature of the child.

The condition in question may be associated with a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia that impacts pregnancy and delivery. An excessive amount of amniotic fluid can result in complications due to gestational diabetes and the termination of the pregnancy.

Tips for Fibromyalgia in Pregnancy

Pregnant women who have fibromyalgia experience significant pain, fatigue, and mental stress, particularly during the first three months of pregnancy. Following are a handful of valuable tips for fibromyalgia in pregnancy:

  • There are currently no medications available for the treatment of fibromyalgia that is considered safe for use during pregnancy. 
  • It may be necessary to maintain the use of certain pain relievers and stimulants after consulting with your healthcare provider. 
  • If you’re having trouble sleeping, try using relaxation techniques such as acupuncture and massage to help you relax. 
  • If fatigue is your primary complaint, take a few twenty- to thirty-minute naps throughout the day. 
  • If you are experiencing aches and pains in your body, moist heat treatments and massage may benefit your condition. 
  • Stretching and acupuncture are two techniques that may be beneficial to certain women. 
  • It is essential to engage in meditation and physical activity during your pregnancy to lower your stress levels, which will then assist with alleviating any symptoms you may be experiencing. 
  • Sharing your symptoms with loved ones, friends, and your doctor is also crucial.

Can Fibromyalgia Go Away During Pregnancy? 

If you have fibromyalgia, you may be wondering if discomfort would subside during pregnancy. Your musculoskeletal system is significantly stressed during pregnancy, and your sleep and exercise schedules will be disturbed, and you will almost certainly struggle to keep up with your new baby. Even if you are not aware of any symptoms throughout pregnancy, you should seek medical attention if you are in continuous discomfort.

Most women report feeling better throughout the second trimester regarding pregnant discomfort and weariness. This is because pregnancy hormones are beginning to take effect. However, since the disease may impact breastfeeding, you should see your doctor about your alternatives. If nursing is a priority, you may be forced to switch medications during the last trimester. If this is the case, individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia might try nursing.

Your doctor will be able to provide you with the necessary medicines to assist you in coping with your condition throughout pregnancy. While most drugs used to treat fibromyalgia are not safe during pregnancy, some are. A specialist in perinatal physiology will be able to provide the most appropriate medicine to aid in your body’s recovery. You should also concentrate on stress management strategies, massage, and meditation throughout pregnancy. Additionally, you should seek assistance from other people with fibromyalgia.

Women with fibromyalgia can still become pregnant, although there may be extra difficulties. Whether a woman is pregnant or wants to become pregnant, she should talk to her doctor to see if further help is available. In addition, she should learn as much as possible about what it’s like to have fibromyalgia and be pregnant, as this may help motivate her to actively engage in the process of deciding on the best method to utilize at each stage of her pregnancy.

Also Read:

Migraines in Pregnancy
Thalassemia during Pregnancy
Cystic Fibrosis when Pregnant

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