Spinal AVM & Pregnancy

I thought I’d start a thread for the rare few who have spinal AVM’s and want to have children or are pregnant.

I have a Spinal AVM in T9-T10 it’s inside and outside of my spinal cord so considered too risky to operate on unless absolutely necessary.
My AVM burst when I was 21 (2015) which is how it was discovered (although it did take 6 months for them to find it!). My symptoms are mild with only numbness in both legs. Everything else has recovered. I do occasionally have pain in my back but it goes away quickly.

I’ve successfully had 3 children and it’s had no effect on my AVM which is amazing considering I was told pregnancy increases the likely hood of it bursting by 20%. However, I could only have my babies via C-section under general Anaesthetic due to the risk of it bursting in labour and with a spinal tape or epidural.

So if you’re in this boat I’d love to hear from you! I don’t know anyone with a spinal AVM and even the nurses and doctors don’t always know what it is and have to explain it to them as it’s so uncommon!

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Hi,

I had a congenital avm from birth at T8/9. I had a boy with natural birth as I was not aware of my problem at the time. Fortunately all went well without complications. My pregnancy was uneventful too.
Recently I had problems with my knees and some sensory symptoms in my legs- burning, numbness-when doctors discovered mine. I had a surgery as it was on the surface of the spinal cord therefore manageable. Surgery was successful, currently recovering from it. Only remaining symptom is numbness in both legs. :crossed_fingers: all clears up in a couple months.

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I was diagnosed in July 2023 with a large spinal AVF in my neck (C1-C7). I had a pregnancy 19 year prior…as I didn’t know at the time that I had this condition. Symptoms did increase significantly during my pregnancy but thank goodness I made it through (neck pain, lower back pain, and a loud swishing sound in my neck - bruit). Back and neck pain was too severe from there on to even consider becoming pregnant again…I knew my body would not be able to handle another pregnancy but didn’t know why until 19 years later when I was diagnosed. I was slowly but surely losing feeling and function in my arms, legs, hands, feet etc. It was such a slow process I learned to adapt and live with it - until I couldn’t. Thank goodness I was able to be treated via spinal dural embolization…14 platinum coils were used to shut down the AVF. So far so good. Long tough recovery (its been 10 months since the procedure) but I’m starting to feel better than I did prior to the embolization. Knowing what I now know I am thankful to have survived my pregnancy and would never consider another pregnancy. I regained feeling in my feet and hands etc and am able to walk and just started jogging. Just started physio to regain strength in my arms and neck. Every doctor or nurse who has treated me mentioned it was their first time coming across someone with a spinal AVF. A unique and challenging health condition for sure. So thankful for this online community.

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