Vicodin/Hydrocodone and Pregnancy

I just wanted to take a quick moment to answer some googlers out there. With PCOS, I was trying to get pregnant for a long time, and often when I was waiting to see if I was or wasn’t, I’d feel sick and need pain medication. But the internet is pretty hugely torn on the issue. You can basically find whichever answer you want. And if you’re a fretful someday-mom, you’ll go back and forth reading all the pro-medication and anti-medication writings and drive yourself insane.

I’m not a doctor, and in the end you really need to ask your doctor if the risks of taking any medication outweigh the benefit. But what if you’re still “trying?” What if every month, you hope you’re pregnant, but you may not be? What if you won’t call your doctor because you’re pretty sure he’s getting annoyed with you already and you’re not even pregnant yet?

medication

Here’s the conclusion I came to.

I take pain medication as needed, which for me means nowhere close to every day. Maybe once a week. I was trying for over a year to get pregnant, which included many weeks when I might have been pregnant but I was also in pain. I’d read pages and pages of google results and end up not taking the medication with the thought that it was better to be safe than sorry.

But did the risk outweigh the benefit? During the “two week wait,” it’s highly unlikely any medication will have lasting effects on the baby, especially if it’s only one dose. Or one drink when you didn’t know you were pregnant, or any other tiny slips that you’re bound to fret over when you get the exciting but harrowing news that you’ve got a baby on board.

If you’re in pain and losing sleep or stressing excessively, that can mess with your ability to get pregnant too. Stress and sleep loss are dangerous to a baby as well, but more dangerous to conceiving in the first place. If you’re trying to get pregnant and having trouble, the last thing you need is sleepless nights and pain-filled days of stress.

I definitely think that if you’re taking a lot of pain medication, you need to talk to your doctor about cutting back if you’re trying to conceive. But for me, it was better to take the occasional pill and keep myself feeling well than to add to the stresses infertility brings in the first place.

Once you know that you’re pregnant, you will need to go ahead and stop taking vicodin/hydrocodone unless your doctor expressly gives the ok and closely monitors you. Giving up the medication was much easier once I knew it wasn’t “for nothing.” And if your pain comes from endometriosis, like me, then you’ll be feeling much better very soon. Pregnancy is the best thing for endo pain, it really is.

Just a quick post tonight before bed. This question has been popping up in my referral links so I thought I’d give my opinion and hope it helps someone.

But before I continue with my Chronic Travel Bug reports on Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure while pregnant, I have a very special review of some exciting new cleaning products called EnviroKlenz – specially created for people with MCS! And perfect for a baby on the way.

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All coming soon! So stick around!

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5 thoughts on “Vicodin/Hydrocodone and Pregnancy

  1. I am pregnant and take pain medication daily for chronic pain caused by several health conditions (a connective tissue disorder and a brain condition which I’ve had surgeries for).
    Your advice is very good. For women like me who don’t have the option to stop taking pain medication, there are medications that are much safer for baby than what we normally take when not pregnant.

    It is important to see a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist because taking narcotic pain medication puts pregnancy into a high-risk category.
    Buprenorphine is one medication that is considered a great option for women who need to continue a pain management regimen during pregnancy.

    It is scary to think of taking medication while pregnant, but there are safe options that make pregnancy possible and safe for women who can’t stop taking their pain meds!
    I didn’t realize this when I first became pregnant. I wish I had. I hope to help ease fear of women who are in similar circumstances as myself by sharing this whenever the subject presents itself. Thank you for this great post!

    1. This is great advice and actually made me feel a little better. After struggling with infertility, we recently found out I’m pregnant again… without medicine or even trying!

      But it took me almost three months to even take a test. I took pain meds regularly all that time. So this time I’m seeing a fetal medicine specialist and she’s been so kind and understanding, and super helpful in finding a safe way to balence medication and pregnancy.

      So yes! Fetal medicine specialist for the win!

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