Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does spina bifida affect your ability to have a child?"
My husband and I would like to conceive a child, but I have spina bifida. Can I do it safely, and also not pass it on? We are in our early 30s.
This is a discussion that you should definitely have with your OB GYN doctor before deciding to proceed. Many women with a personal history of spinal bifida are able to successfully conceive and have children. The first thing that you will have to discuss with your doctor is the fact that you will be at somewhat higher risk of having a baby with spinal bifida itself than a woman without your medical history. However, some of this risk can be mitigated by taking high doses of folic acid before conception and during the pregnancy, and your doctor can discuss with you how this is done. The second thing you will have to discuss is any residual medical problems or physical limitations you might have yourself from your own spinal bifida. Sometimes, these problems can require special care or accommodations during the pregnancy, and your doctor will be able to outline these details for you. The bottom line is that many women with a history of spinal bifida go on to have perfectly healthy babies themselves, but that the pregnancy requires more planning, coordination, and close medical care than would normally be necessary in a pregnancy. Talk with your OB GYN doctor at your earliest convenience.
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