Most women worry about pregnancy and how it will change their bodies. But for women with scoliosis, the worry is a reality. They are not just apprehensive about body changes, but also about pain.
Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine. People suffering from it have spines that curve to the side. So, does a diagnosis of scoliosis make pregnancy impossible? The answer, fortunately, is a big no.
Women with scoliosis can not only become pregnant but can also carry their baby to term without too many hiccups!
Causes Of Scoliosis During Pregnancy:
Before we delve further into the world of scoliosis and pregnancy, it is important to understand the disease first. The more you know, the better you can manage your body – both during and after pregnancy.
If you have scoliosis, you must wonder how you got it. Here are the major causes of this condition:
1. Idiopathic Scoliosis:
Science doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to scoliosis. About 80% of scoliosis cases have no k
2. Neuromuscular Disorders:
Neuromuscular conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy is the cause behind 20% of scoliosis cases.
3. Congenital Scoliosis:
Though rare, congenital scoliosis cases are present in some newborns. This happens because the bones in their spines develop abnormally in the womb
[ Read: Gain Weight During Pregnancy ]
According to a study, the gene – GPR126 – is involved in the development of the spine during the early years of a human’s life. It is this gene that can mutate and cause scoliosis in children. (1)
5. Leg length:
People with legs of varying lengths are more likely to develop scoliosis.
[ Read: Restless Legs Syndrome During Pregnancy ]
6. Other Causes:
Other causes of scoliosis include bad posture, using heavy backpacks and some specific exercises.
How Does Scoliosis Affect Pregnancy?
One major worry women with scoliosis express is how it will affect the outcome of their pregnancy. If you are planning to conceive, do see a doctor. But scoliosis is not known to cause any major complications during pregnancy or childbirth.
Earlier, doctors routinely turned to C-sections to deliver babies of women with scoliosis. But a number of studies have shown that scoliosis alone does not warrant an elective C-section (2). A vaginal delivery is worth trying for if you have no other underlying health issue.
If you are planning on an epidural during labor, scoliosis will prove to be a hindrance. This is especially true if you had a spinal fusion done in the past. So, don’t forget to talk to your doctor about pain management options before you go into labor.
Does Pregnancy Make Scoliosis Symptoms Worse?
This is the major cause of concern for women with scoliosis. When you live with a health condition, the last thing you want is to make it worse. So, it is normal for women with scoliosis to express apprehension about pregnancy. No matter how strong your desire for a baby, it should never trump your health concerns.
Let’s give you the good news first! Repeated studies have shown that a pregnancy or even repeated pregnancies does not make the spine curvature worse (3). But if you suffer from severe scoliosis and have used orthotic treatment, there is a risk that your curve progression will be higher than women who have never been pregnant. That is why it is important to consult your doctor before you throw away the birth control pills.
There are some problems that a woman with scoliosis will face during pregnancy though. Here they are:
Pain is not a common scoliosis symptom. But a pregnancy can change that. Most women complain of back pain during pregnancy. But for women with mild to moderate scoliosis, the pain may be a notch higher.
[ Read: Back Pain During Pregnancy ]
2. Breathing Difficulties:
As your pregnancy progresses, you will gain weight. Now that is a given in all pregnancies. During the third trimester, the growing uterus pushes the diaphragm higher and makes breathing difficult. Due to the curvature of the spine and deformity of the rib cage, scoliosis can make this symptom bothersome. If you have severe scoliosis and face breathing problems, don’t forget to discuss this issue with your doctor before you become pregnant.
[ Read: Breathing Problem During Pregnancy ]
If you have uneven leg size, walking may a problem for you. This will become worse as you gain weight during pregnancy.
4. Surgery Delay:
If you are waiting for a surgery for treating scoliosis, pregnancy will have to wait. Doctors recommend waiting for at least six months after the surgery to become pregnant. This is the time needed for the spine to heal completely.
Beyond a few minor problems, scoliosis is not something to keep you from getting pregnant. Don’t let fear rule your life. Be proactive and work on improving your health before you conceive. Have you tried yoga? No? Give it a try. A study published in the journal Global Advances in Health and Medicine say that spending 90 seconds each day on a single yoga pose can reduce spine curvature in 3 months! Worth a try, won’t you say?
Hope by now you are clear with scoliosis pregnancy complications. So, research, talk to your doctor, get fit, and there’s nothing to stop you from becoming a mother. Go on, live your dream!
Do you have scoliosis during pregnancy? What symptoms do you face? Share with us in the comments section below!
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