All you need to know about getting pregnant when you have osteoporosis
For most women, osteoporosis doesn’t register on their radar as something to be wary of. But consider this: a woman’s risk of hip fracture due to osteoporosis is the same as her combined risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
While this condition is most often associated with hip, spine and wrist fractures, it can also affect your ability to safely undergo pregnancy. After all, osteoporosis results in the thinning and weakening of bones, which is problematic for women who are carrying and delivering babies.
While women who have undergone menopause are at a much higher risk of osteoporosis, it’s not unheard of for women of childbearing age to have the same condition. After all, women start to lose their bone mass from 35 (men, on the other hand, only start to do the same when they hit 45).
Regardless of their gender, those who have a history of medical issues which decrease bone density (eg eating disorders, arthritis, or excessive steroid use) may also develop osteoporosis at a younger age. Individuals who are thin or underweight, and have an immediate family member with osteoporosis are also more at risk.
So what happens if you have osteoporosis, but you’re hoping to get pregnant? While having this condition won’t affect your ability to conceive, you do run the risk of encountering problems when you’re giving birth. More specifically, you could break and fracture your spine and hip during the process of delivering the baby. In order to avoid this, gynaecologists generally recommend that women with osteoporosis opt for caesarean births, rather than a vaginal delivery.
If you suspect that you have osteoporosis, speak to your doctor about getting a Bone Density Test (which typically comes in the form of a DEXA scan). This scan measures the bone mineral density and bone strength at your hip and spine, and can be used to determine whether you have osteoporosis.
If you’d like to take measures to prevent yourself from contracting osteoporosis, the best way to do so is to change your diet. Make sure you get 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 – 800 IU of Vitamin D per day; if you find it hard to get sufficient calcium and Vitamin D from food sources, you may take supplements as well.
Fertility consultation with BeNatural’s fertility coach, Marie Otsuka
If you and your partner would like to learn more about conceiving, come down for a 45-minute consultation with Marie Otsuka, BeNatural’s fertility coach. In this session, Marie will seek to understand the couple’s situation, and offer insights she’s gained through her 10 years of experience in working with infertile Singaporeans. Slots are limited and on a first come first serve basis; contact us here to schedule an appointment!