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Hello. I am 38 years old unmarried and no children. My partner pushes me to get pregnant. I have primary lymphedema in both legs (from toes to hips) for 20 years. I wear tight and strong stocking from toes to hips and pants all day.

I know that my pregnancy will be difficult process and my lymphedema would worsen. I refuse to be pregnant and to suffer but he is pushing me very hard.

I feel bad and he does not take into account the fact that my condition will get worse and I will suffer.

From my side, I am willing to be a foster mother or adop child, but he wants a child from his sperm. I can also give up the process of motherhood.

I would love to hear opinions and advice.

7 Replies

I feel for you , although I am the same age and without a partner I wonder if my body would handle a pregnancy which could worsen my condition and leave me unable to care for and enjoy the child. on the other hand there are many women out there with primary who have had children and couldn't imagine not having them. I'm not sure where in the world you are but sending you positive thoughts anyway.


I'm not sure it matters what condition you have, if you really want to have children you would move heaven and earth to have them and wouldn't worry about how it will affect you.

Only you can answer do you want your own children? It's you that would have to carry, give birth and care for the child. No one can make that decision for you. Remember, partners can always walk away.

I had two children. It was difficult the late stages of pregnency and I got fed up with the medical profession concerned my feet were so swollen and me constantly repeating, it's normal for me! Once born, everything went back to 'normal' . I personally have never regretted my decision.

I hope it works out for you whatever you decide. X


Having Lymphoedema does not have to stop you having children, it is unknown how it would affect you but with a little work it should go back to the way it was. But it's only worth it, if you want to do it. Professor Mortimer said Lymphoedema should not stop you doing anything you want, as long as you follow the guidance.

Recently I have read the following forum where a lady from the USA has documented her pregnancy effect on her leg,

Your main decision should be, do I want children.

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Hi you should never feel pushed into this decision its not fair on you . Would it help him to understand the effect it could have on you if you both went along to your gp or specialist to ask for advice. LSN may have some information to that maybe they could send you for you both to read .At the end of the day lymphoedema or not its a joint decision and if you feel your being pressured into it then praps your

just not ready. x


Hi, I am echoing suggestion that you speak to LSN about this dilemma, it is difficult to predict the effects of pregnancy other than (a) the effect of increasing weight (b) the genneral slowing of lymph and other fluids. But if you want a child with your partner, don't leave it too late but do seek expert advice on managing your lymphoedema during pregnancy.

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Hi Ela48. As someone living with primary lymphoedema in both my legs, I completely understand where you are coming from. I too had serious doubts about having children, mainly because I would never know (until it is too late!) if I have passed on the condition to my child. And that all felt pretty unbearable. I didn't want anyone to suffer like I did, trying to deal with my 'deformity', as I called it when I was in my early adulthood. (Now I am in my mid 40's and feel more as if I have learnt to live with my condition. I would give it up in a second if I could, but I will not let it define who I am. It is part of me, not the whole of me).

But I decided my desire for children was greater than this anxiety, and after all, I feel OK (ish!) about my condition now, so, with better treatment from the outset, my child would hopefully feel less physically and psychologically disabled by the condition than I did. And so I went on to have one child who is in primary school, so too young to develop the type of lymphoedema I have (which came on in adolescence).

I too was worried about the effects of the pregnancy on my lymphoedema, but I have to say it had absolutely no effect whatsoever. I think my lymphoedema is a mild case (I only wear knee length hosiery), and everyone is a unique individual, with a unique response, but I just wanted to let you know that being pregnant made no difference to my swelling. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least!

I can hear so much angst in your brief entry Ela48 - I really picked up on lots of really tough feelings about your condition and how it makes you feel about yourself. It has been, and continues to be, an uphill struggle to accept my body for what it is. I hope one day I will learn to love it, but that takes time! However, I would say that having a child was a very important way for me to feel more accepting and appreciative of my body. It produced a beautiful child, so can't be that bad!

I would really encourage you to have some counselling to think this whole thing through. Perhaps couple counselling for you and your husband to get a resolution about the issue of whether to have a child or not. But I certainly think that having lymphoedema can engender some pretty difficult feelings about our body, which get highlighted at times such as thinking about having a child, especially when the old biological clock is ticking!! Counselling can give us all the space to process our own feelings about living with such a difficult condition, as well as thinking through what we want in terms of having children or not.

I hope my ramblings have been of some help Ela48 - I wish you all the best as you try to work out what is best for you. Good luck!


I understand what you are going through, being 31 and having primary le in both limbs too.

I do not have chilldren yet and allthough i have maybe little more time then you to think about it, it crosses my mind to because most of my friends already have kids.

If you have a big wish to have kids on your own you should not let this from having them. But off course our condition makes you think really carefully about it.

But many people have things predisposition ( some that they are not aware of still). We know it so we can anticipate and with good care it must go, no?

Also i really think maybe in the future we might have better treatment options.

I just think that your boyfriend should not push you. I can imagine, being totally healthy, the idea of being pushed would turn me off. You are the expert and nobody knows what it is like. And everybody including your boyfriend should respect whatever you decide, because it is your health and not his that will be under pressure. Take care and good luck with your decision !


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