Bad back with pain meds and wanting to get pregnant.

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 4/12/2008 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I hope no one minds me putting this up here on this forum - but I figure if anyone would know it would be here.

Hubby and I have been married for 7 years now - due to hormonal problems (PCOS) we have been unable to get pregnant. about a week after we were married was when I injured my back. Post fusion, during a time when my pain was as low as it had been, and as low as it ever has been, we were using fertility medication in hopes of getting pregnant. It was a point where I was taking about 10 percocet's a month, and due to temping (a way to estimate ovulating, and being pregnant) I was able to not take the pain medication when there was a chance that I might be pregnant. My doctor Gyn told me that when I got pregnant I would need to stop all pain medication for the duration of the pregnancy - and once I started gaining weight due to the strain on my back I would more than likely end up wheelchair bound and on bedrest. They were terms I was okay with in order to have a child.

I still want a child more than anything else in this world, I want to help create, and care for a baby. My husband is the most amazing man I've ever met, and I can't wait to bring a part of him into the world.

Due to my recent weight loss surgery - and the way the weight loss affected my hormones - I am now (probably) going to be able to conceive - even without fertility medication. My problem is this - I am now in more pain than I have ever been in. I just found out that I have another large bulging disc, right on top of the fusion area, and that the disc above that is shrinking (decreasing in height is the wordage I believe). I'm taking MS Contin 30mg, twice a day, Soma 350mg three times a day, Percocet 5/325's three times a day. Even with this dosage of medication, more than I'd like to be on, I'm still in constant pain and living at a 5-7 pain level. IF it drops to 3-4 I feel like throwing a party. There was talk with my primary doctor of putting me on a pain patch (not sure what it would be or anything), because then it would not need to go through my shrunk tummy. My weight loss surgeon feels that the MS Contin is not being absorbed properly, and I'm getting very little benefit from it.

Also, I go for my first appointment with a new pain doctor on Wednesday. I plan on asking him what can be done to possibly lower my daily pain level, that would require me to take less of the pain medications orally.

So the question is this - I will be cleared from my restriction from getting pregnant in 6-10 months, depending on my blood work, and weight at that time. However, I can't think of any pain medication I would be allowed to take while pregnant. Even with the 90 pounds I've already lost I'm in more pain than ever. I honestly fear having my pain medication taken away now due to the constant pain I am in. When my pain level rises, so does my blood pressure. At one point I was given an emergency appointment with my primary doctor due to my pain being a 9 (and thats only because I feel it can always get worse). My regular blood pressure is 110/70 - at that point when my blood pressure was taken it was 150/110. I was given a pain shot, a muscle relaxer shot, and anti-inflammatory shot. She had a nurse coming in every five minutes for an hour monitoring my blood pressure to make sure it was going down - and at one point almost had me admitted to the hospital.

I know that there is no way blood pressure going up so high, or the stress from pain can be good for a baby. At the same time - I can't imagine a single pain medication that would be good for a baby.

Does anyone know if there are pain medications that would be okay to take? Are the patches better to take (I can't imagine they are as it's still in the bloodstream) than pills if your pregnant? Would I need to ween myself off the pain medications before even attempting to get pregnant? I'm not sure all the harm to a fetus, along with birth defects and the like that pain medications and such might cause. However, hubby and I will probably never be able to afford adoption. I would be willing to live in a 10 pain every single day for nine months if I could have a child - but as I said - super high blood pressure probably will not be good for a fetus.

I'm looking for input - advice - anything, from anyone who might have an idea.

"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/12/2008 2:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't have answers to your questions about pain meds - not any more than you know. It sounds doubtful there's anything you could take that wouldn't affect the fetus. And even if you were willing to endure a level 10 pain to have a baby, that much pain would create stress and probably some of that would affect the fetus, too - such as high blood pressure.

You mention you can't afford adoption, but have you gone to local agencies to explore this? Everyone doesn't have to spend the big money to bring a child from a foreign country. You may have to wait if you want an infant, but why not at least talk with your local adoption agencies. I say this to you as someone who has very personal experience with this, as I'm adopted. I met my "birth mother" a couple of times, but my "real" parents are the two people who raised me and, unfortunatley, they're both deceased. But they gave me unconditional love and a life that I likely wouldn't have otherwise had. Considering all your health challenges, it does seem like something to explore more fully.

I know some people use surrogates, but usually that does involve being able to pay their expenses - unless you knew someone who would do it, like a family member. Of course that has its own complications and IVF procedures are very expensive.

I guess that's about all i can offer, but don't give up. You obviously want a child very much, and I bet have lots of love to give. Maybe it won't be the perfect situation, but there are children out there who need your love!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16607
   Posted 4/12/2008 11:17 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Tammy,

Oh I wish I had some answers for you. I do know one thing, my daughter-in-law nursed the baby and she was only allowed tylenol for any kind of pain. I rather doubt you will find a narcotic that you can take that will not harm the baby. You will probably be high risk with your medical problems already, especially after this recent MRI. Being pregnant is really going to put pressure on your back and I would hate to see something else go wrong with your back. You can blow a disc in your by lifting a gallon of milk the wrong way or even leaning down to get clothes out of a washer or dryer, this is on a healthy back, not one already weakened by surgery.

If you have high blood pressure due to pain, then you would be putting the baby at risk. I think you need to set down with all of your drs and see what they think. I would hate to see someone jepordize their health or a baby's.

I really feel you need to investigate this alot more. Hugs, Susie


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 4/13/2008 12:18 AM (GMT -6)   


i'm a guy and probably don't belong in this conversation.  but (yes, there's always a "but") maybe i can provide a bit of insight.

for one thing, i really don't see why having a baby is so"fulfilling."  maybe it's a gal thing.  but then, again, most women don't care for football, which is infinitely more exciting than having a baby.  devil

seriously, what the others have said on this thread is great advice.  but you can talk this subject into the ground and not be any closer to a decision.  having a baby is usually (from what i understand) an emotional decision, not a reasoned and rational one.  even so, you are aware, i hope, of the risks to yourself and to the fetus,  can you honestly put your hand on your holy book and swear that you can go without pain meds for at least a year?  and that you will be physically, mentally, and emotionally able to tend to the infant 24/7 for at least a year to a year and a half?  is your loving husband going to be able to cope with you being down with pain and him having to tend to both you and the baby?  having a baby is one of the great stressors on relationships and you are compounding that stress with your cp.

i know that having a baby is important for many people.  i wouldn't condemn a child with my mis-begotten dna.  i got a family when i married my wife and give them, their kids, and grandkids all of the love and attention that i am able to give.  but passing on my own dna is not something i would dare to inflict on an innocent.

i hope that i have managed to provide some useful input to your decision-making process.  i pray that the gods will help to guide you and protect you.


That light at the end of he tunnel?  It's an on-coming train.

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