Herniated disc + pregnancy = ?
May 14, 2008 1:19 PM Subscribe
Back trouble and pregnancy: Which is worse for a person with a herniated disc, a C-section (which I imagine will compromise the all-important core muscles) or vaginal delivery (which might cause the disk to rupture)? Also, I am prone to sciatica and assume that pregnancy will involve a lot of sciatic nerve pain--can this lead to a permanent worsening of my condition or would it be relieved once I gave birth?
posted by HotToddy to health & fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've had surgery (microdiscectomy) for a ruptured disc at L5-S1, and have a slightly herniated disk at L4-L5. I am mostly fine now and am contemplating having a baby, but my biggest concern is the possibility of worsening my back condition. Frankly, the back pain I used to suffer was so bad that if it's a choice between having a child and being pain free, I would choose to forego having children. However, I want to have a child if there is a reasonable likelihood that it will be okay. I know nobody can predict the future, and of course I will consult with my doctors, but I'd like to get the hive mind's take on this first.
1) I have read that a C-section is bad for people with back trouble because you're slicing through the muscles that you need to have a strong core. I know that in my case, the stronger my core, the better my back. What will my abs be like after a C-section? Would it be safer than risking a ruptured disc during labor? Also, from the perspective of plain old vanity, will my stomach ever be flat again after a C-section?
2) Since even a tiny bit of constipation makes my sciatica worse, I predict that pregnancy will make it dramatically worse. I think I can bear it for 9 months, but I worry that having pressure on it for so long will somehow lead to permanent damage. Is that possible?
Any advice on these matters is welcome, although I am looking more for dry-eyed realism than "have the baby, everything will be fine!" I mean, I think I have the best chance of everything being fine if I really know ahead of time what I'm getting into and make an informed decision. Thanks for your help.