Women's Health

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) during Pregnancy

​​​​​Multiple Sclerosis (MS) during Pregnancy

Women with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can conceive naturally, give birth to a healthy baby, and breastfeed. Relapses tend to be less common in pregnancy, although they may be more common in the postpartum months.
Before planning a pregnancy:
A healthcare provider should be consulted about the symptoms or medications used, and it may be advised to stop some medications some time before pregnancy, but if pregnancy takes place unexpectedly, it is important to consult the healthcare provider to adjust medications and doses, and not to stop them suddenly.
Multiple sclerosis does not affect women’s fertility, but some medications used in treatment may affect fertility in both men and women, as some medications are considered unsafe during pregnancy, so women are advised to discuss the type of medications used before pregnancy or immediately after pregnancy occurs when it is not pre-planned.

During pregnancy:
Pregnancy reduces relapses (seizures), so the risk of exposure thereto is very low, and some drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis are not safe for the child, and these include a group of “disease-modifying drugs” and another group of “chemotherapy drugs” (such as: azathioprine or methotrexate).
Some other medications considered safe during pregnancy can be used to treat the symptoms of MS, and pregnancy has no effect on the severity of MS in the long term.

Dealing with symptoms during pregnancy:
Fatigue and stress get worse during pregnancy, so help should be sought when needed, as:
  • Balance and back pain may become worse; Due to the increased weight of the fetus, it is therefore preferable to provide walking aids (such as: a stick or a tool that helps to walk, and tools that help stability at home) to reduce the risk of stumbling and falling.
  • The risk of developing a urinary tract infection increases during pregnancy, so drink plenty of water, note any change or itching that may occur during this period, and in the event of infection, adhere to the prescribed medications and follow the instructions of the health care provider.
Birth planning:
Some suffer from damage to the spinal cord that interferes with their ability to know when labor has begun. This is rare, but it worries some women. So, if a woman suffers from a lack of feeling in the pelvic or abdominal area, she can talk to her doctor. Learn how to determine when labor begins.
If a woman becomes very tired during childbirth, she may need a caesarean section, as studies show that anesthesia is no more dangerous for people with MS than for other women in labor.

After childbirth:
It is good to plan in advance how to deal with life after childbirth, as a woman may notice an increase in the occurrence of symptoms or severe fatigue after childbirth, and exhaustion accompanied by disability and poor movement can contribute to depression, so when symptoms (such as: sadness and despair) occur, she must tell the doctor thereabout.
Some medications may not be safe to breastfeed, so, consult the doctor about available medication options that allow a woman to breastfeed safely.

Last Update : 07 June 2023 02:36 PM
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