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Slip disc condition, cannot do activities which stress the spine. Normal delivery during pregnancy risky?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
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I have a female friend who recovered from a slip disc. She is 33, and now able to do normal activities, and even go to the gym, but cannot do activities that stress the spine. Can she conceive/have babies?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 36 minutes later
Thanks for posting the query.
Conceiving a baby depends on a females fertility and her reproductive organs like uterus and ovaries and genital tract.So if there is no problem with that she can conceive a baby, but the enlarging uterus may put a stress on her spine causing worsening of her symptoms but that can be managed by her orthopaedic surgeon and physiotherapist.
As such slipped disc is not a contraindication for pregnancy and the baby can be delivered through caesarean section rather than vaginal delivery.
So if she wishes to conceive she should discuss the matter with both her orthopaedic surgeon as well as gynaecologist so that the pregnancy is planned at an apropriate time and without any worsening of her slipped disc.
Hope I have answered your query.
I'll be available for any follow up queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Slip disc condition, cannot do activities which stress the spine. Normal delivery during pregnancy risky? 5 hours later
Yah. I know slip disc won't affect the fertility. My concern is more on whether the stresses due to pregnancy would cause complications. You mentioned abt appropriate time for pregnancy (consulting orthopedic surgeon..). Can u elaborate more?
And you also mentioned abt caesarean. Do u mean that with d history of slip disc it is not recommended to have natural delivery? What will be the worry for natural delivery?
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 6 hours later

Thanks for the follow up query.

I apologize for having misinterpreted you. I would try to elaborate as well as keep it simple.

The main concern in a case of disc prolapse is ‘danger of injury to the nerve roots or spinal cord’ at that level which can aggravate pain, restrict movement and in extreme cases cause paralysis and paresthesia i.e. sensory disturbances of skin like tingling numbness, bladder disturbance, etc.
The appropriate time to plan pregnancy would depend upon various factors like
•     How severe was the disc prolapsed?
•      What stage of healing it is?
•      What treatment is contemplated - whether surgical or non-surgical?
All this factors, the clinical examination findings and recent MRI scan of the patient can give a confirmed diagnosis whether there is any risk of nerve damage and if pregnancy can be planned.
That is the reason why I told you to consult an orthopaedic surgeon.

Your query regarding normal delivery:
The answer is yes, slipped disc is a minor contraindication for normal delivery; because there is lot of stress on the spine during labour and bearing down which can worsen the prolapse disc. So elective caesarean is usually preferred to avoid bearing down and pressure on vertebral canal and nerves that can occur during normal delivery.

Hope I have answered your query. Please accept my reply if you have no further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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