Living with Chronic Pain

Potential Issues Conceiving A Child Due to a Chronic Pain Condition


Individuals with chronic pain face various challenges on a daily basis. When one or both partners in a relationship has a chronic pain condition, they may also experience difficulty conceiving a child.

There are several chronic pain conditions that involve the female reproductive system. For example, chronic pelvic pain in women may be due to a medical condition that affects female reproductive organs, such as endometriosis, pelvic adhesions, or uterine fibroids. These conditions can make conception more difficult. Furthermore, certain medications and treatments for female chronic pelvic pain (e.g., hormonal birth control or hysterectomy) greatly reduce or eliminate the ability to get pregnant or carry a child.

Certain chronic conditions or medical treatments can affect both ovulation or sperm production, making it more difficult to conceive. Examples of these conditions include diabetes, lupus, heart disease, thyroid disorders, certain chemotherapy drugs, or radiation treatment to the pelvic area. In general, when an individual is dealing with a chronic illness, their body expends a lot of energy fighting that illness and protecting vital organs, such as the heart, brain, and lungs, leaving less energy and fewer resources for the reproductive organs.

However, with the right medical guidance, preparation, and precautions, conceiving while dealing with chronic pain is definitely possible (depending on the specific health condition). Health care professionals can work with couples to help determine the cause of and potential solution for fertility issues related to chronic pain. Doctors can also advise women about any medications or other treatments that need to be modified or discontinued during pregnancy to protect the baby.

Additional sources: The Bump and Today’s Parent

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