Can fibromyalgia be dangerous during pregnancy?

Q: Can fibromyalgia be dangerous during pregnancy? 

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A: Fibromyalgia itself does not pose a risk to an expecting mom or her fetus. The medications taken to manage it may, however, which is why experts recommend that women who have it review their meds withan obstetrician before conceiving.

Fibromyalgia has no known cure but often can be treated successfully, says Mark Pellegrino, M.D., aphysical-medicine and rehabilitation specialist in Canton, Ohio, and a board member of the National Fibromyalgia Association. “If a woman is not pregnant, her pain, fatigue and other symptoms might be managed through medication, physical therapy, massage and cognitive behavioral therapy,” he says.

“Once she is pregnant, her medications might need to be discontinued,” Pellegrino adds, “but she can continue with the other treatments and still have a very comfortable pregnancy.” In fact, he says, many women with fibromyalgia enjoy a symptom-free early pregnancy, possibly because shifting hormone levels in the early months may calm pain.

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