Lithium-Problems Having Children?
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Q:  Lithium-Problems Having Children?


I have been diagnosed with bipolar sence i was 12 now i'm 22. I used to take lithium and i heard from someone that many women who have taken this medication before have problems having children, or they cannot have children at all. I am married and my husband and I are planing to have children in a few years. This person also said that i should have a complete work up done on my body. I do get blood tests every month and about every 3 months I have complete blood work done. Is what this person told me true or false or in between?  Thank you very much I hope to here from you soon. 



Dear Ms. D' 
You can get pregnant just fine -- but careful, the problem is that lithium has some risk for your fetus while she/he is developing.  Unfortunately this risk is the greatest right at the beginning of pregnancy.  So basically you want to taper off before you get pregnant; and you definitely don't want an unplanned pregnancy.  And you have to work very closely with your doctor -- no making any guesses about how to do this on you're own, it's very important to do it with very close supervision.  But, with that help, you can do well and so can your baby.  

Dr. Phelps

Published November, 2001
 

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