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Should a woman with ms get pregnant

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Approximately three times as many women as men have MS. Most women are diagnosed in their mid thirties at exactly the time when they may be thinking about starting a family. The issue of pregnancy and MS is therefore an important one. In addition, women who have been diagnosed with MS may have concerns about how the disease will affect their ability to have children and how pregnancy and delivery may exacerbate their MS. The major factors in the decision to have children are the same for people with MS as they are for other people.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Marie D'hooghe, MD, PhD: Pregnancy Plans for Patients With MS

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Fertility Advice for Women: Dr. Sanjay Agarwal

New guidelines for pregnancy in multiple sclerosis

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Multiple sclerosis MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord. MS is unpredictable. It can range from benign to disabling. Some people with MS may be mildly affected. Others may lose the ability to write, speak, or walk.

Many things may cause MS, including viruses, autoimmune disorders, environmental factors, and genetic factors. But all of the possible causes share a common feature. The body's immune system attacks its own nervous tissue. In MS, the immune system attacks the layer of protein called myelin that surrounds the nerve fibers in the central nervous system.

Myelin insulates the electrical signals the nervous system uses to communicate. When this insulation is destroyed, communication is interrupted. Parts of the nervous system become permanently damaged. Symptoms of MS are erratic. They may be mild or severe. They may last a short or long time. They may appear in various combinations, depending on the part of the nervous system affected.

Throughout the course of the illness, you may have any or all of these symptoms:. Fatigue may be triggered by physical activity, may ease with rest, or may be constant and persistent.

MS may also cause cognitive effects. The effects may be mild. They are often found only after thorough testing. They may include problems with:. The symptoms of MS may look like other health problems. Your healthcare provider will do a thorough medical history and a physical exam as the first steps toward diagnosis of MS.

You will be asked about all of your symptoms, how often they occur and how long they last. You will likely have an MRI magnetic resonance imaging scan.

This test can detect the unique scars in the central nervous system. There is no cure for MS. But there are disease-modifying therapies available that can slow the progression of the disease and improve symptoms. These include:. There are also treatments to help manage symptoms, treat flare-ups or relapses, improve your function and safety, and provide much needed emotional support. The following. Fortunately, pregnancy does not appear to speed up the course or worsen the effects of MS.

Several studies suggest that MS is less likely to flare up late in pregnancy. But there is a slightly higher risk right after pregnancy. The disabling effects of the disease may make it physically hard to carry a pregnancy.

Muscle weakness and coordination problems may increase the likelihood for falls. Fatigue may worsen. Wheelchair dependence may increase the risk for urinary tract infections.

There is no evidence that MS causes infertility. Studies have shown that pregnancy, delivery, and rate of birth defects are not majorly different in women with MS compared with those without MS.

Many of the medicines used to treat MS may have adverse effects on a fetus. It is important to talk with your healthcare provider if you are thinking about pregnancy or if you become pregnant.

Your healthcare provider will discuss the risks and benefits of the various medicines with you, including any possible effects on your baby and your MS. During pregnancy, you will need close monitoring to keep track of the disease and the health of the fetus. You may need more frequent prenatal visits. There is no established treatment that alters the course of MS. But you may be given medicines such as steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Consult your healthcare provider for more information. Supportive treatment and rehabilitation for MS are especially important during pregnancy.

Rehab varies depending on your symptoms. But it may help with the following:. Improving communication skills if you have trouble speaking because of weakness or lack of coordination of face and tongue muscles. During labor, you may not have pelvic sensation, and you may not feel pain with contractions.

This may also make it hard to tell when labor starts. Delivery of the baby may be harder if you have MS. While labor itself is not affected, MS can affect the muscles and nerves needed for pushing. For this reason, you may need a cesarean section or delivery with the help of forceps or vacuum. Call your healthcare provider if you have several of the classic symptoms of MS so that treatment can begin right away.

If you have MS and want to get pregnant, discuss the benefits and risks of a pregnancy with your MS specialist before becoming pregnant. But there are many ways to help slow the progression of the disease and manage symptoms.

Pregnancy is not ruled out just because you have MS. Pregnancy doesn't seem to speed up or worsen MS. At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you. Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.

Multiple sclerosis and pregnancy

The decision to start a family is a life-changing one. For any couple, it is difficult to speculate how their relationship, employment and financial status might change over the years. Speculation is a gamble and there are no guarantees. For those couples that must factor in the additional uncertainties of MS, both speculation and decision-making grow more complex.

New guidelines for pregnancy care in multiple sclerosis, drawn up by a panel of UK experts, have been published this week. They aim to reduce uncertainty about treatments that are safe and appropriate for pregnant and breastfeeding women with MS, and for couples affected by MS who are planning a pregnancy.

A team of MS experts, including neurologists, nurses, therapists and researchers, offers comprehensive and coordinated therapy for patients. For women, especially those who are considering pregnancy or are already pregnant, individualized treatment is especially important. Our experienced providers can help women at any stage in their lives navigate the right MS care for their needs. Answered by Elisabeth Lucassen, M.

Pregnancy and birth

You currently have JavaScript disabled in your web browser, please enable JavaScript to view our website as intended. Having MS shouldn't stop you having a baby, but careful planning with your family, friends and your doctor becomes more important. Often, an MS nurse will contact your midwife to ensure appropriate pregnancy care plans are in place. There've been many studies examining the impact of pregnancy on MS. They all show that pregnancy appears to have a positive protective influence, with relapse rates going down, especially during the third trimester between six and nine months. The reasons for this are not fully understood, but it's thought hormone levels play a role. However, in the first three months after the baby is born, your risk of relapse rises. We think this happens because your hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels.

Ask an Expert: multiple sclerosis and pregnancy

Good prenatal care, beginning early and better yet, before conception , coupled with regular visits to your neurologist, will help you achieve that most wonderful of outcomes. Most moms-to-be find that their MS symptoms improve during pregnancy, particularly during the third trimester. If you have problems with your gait, walking can become more difficult, especially as your weight increases during pregnancy. Falls are another risk — especially as pregnancy progresses and your center of gravity shifts. To ward off potential problems, try to avoid gaining too much weight.

There's good news for women with multiple sclerosis MS -- researchers now say the disease may not flare up again right after pregnancy as they had long believed, according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 71st Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, May 4 to 10, Most people with MS have the relapsing-remitting form of the disease, where symptoms flare up, then go into periods of remission.

For most women, the disease course itself will not be affected by pregnancy or breastfeeding. MS is highly individualized, and your disease characteristics and treatment plan are significant considerations in your family planning. There is no evidence that MS impairs fertility. Studies have shown that some types of fertility treatment may increase the risk of relapses in women with MS, with relapse rates increasing in the three months after in vitro fertilization.

How to Plan for Pregnancy With Multiple Sclerosis

Mar 02, Cedars-Sinai Staff. It wasn't all that long ago that doctors thought women with MS shouldn't get pregnant. Doctors feared that the disease would worsen and new moms could end up disabled from the autoimmune disease. Fortunately for patients, doctors no longer have reason to think women with MS can't have healthy, successful pregnancies.

Being pregnant can put your multiple sclerosis into remission, but you'll need to speak to your doctor about taking MS medications before you conceive. And the state of pregnancy may have some benefits for women with MS. Reder, MD , a professor of neurology at the University of Chicago Medicine and the director of its neurology and inflammatory disease infusion center. Up until the s, women with multiple sclerosis were discouraged from becoming pregnant because of the concern that it could make the condition worse. But scientists have since observed that pregnancy reduces the likelihood of an MS relapse , particularly in the second and third trimesters.

Pregnancy and Reproductive Issues

Most people who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis MS are women in their child-bearing years. Questions about whether MS affects getting pregnant or about labour and delivery are common. If you have MS, and you want to have children, talk with your doctor. Some things to think about and plan for include:. Lindholm, DO - Neurology. Author: Healthwise Staff.

Jan 10, - For most women, MS does not make any significant difference to their pregnancy.​ Find out how to manage MS throughout your pregnancy.

The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. As a woman with MS, Lizella Mendoza didn't think she would ever be able to have a baby. Now the year-old nursing student from Winnipeg is seven months pregnant with her first child. Many wonder how the disease and its treatment will affect them during pregnancy and child-rearing years.

Multiple sclerosis MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord. MS is unpredictable. It can range from benign to disabling.

Living with and managing MS is different for every person. The symptoms and progression of the disease can vary widely. These MS apps for Android and…. For people living with MS or another chronic condition, pets can provide so much more than entertainment and love - as if that wasn't already enough….

Learn about our expanded patient care options for your health care needs. MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord.

Please sign in or sign up for a March of Dimes account to proceed. Multiple sclerosis also called MS is an autoimmune disorder that affects the central nervous system the brain and spinal cord. Autoimmune disorders are health conditions that happen when antibodies attack healthy tissue by mistake. Antibodies are cells in the body that fight off infections.

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