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Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy

It is common knowledge that Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease which affects the victim’s spinal cord, brain and also optic nerves which attributes to muscular weakness, the loss of coordination’s, and also visual disturbances and speeches to the sufferer. Because of this fact, women who have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) disease may get confused and develop some sort of apprehension about getting pregnant. Perhaps, they may have thought about the impact multiple sclerosis (MS) brings on their foetus or babies later. They could not be blamed for harbouring such fear because having a baby is a very important event in a woman’s life.  Besides, it had been a common belief before 1950 when women with multiple sclerosis were advised not to get pregnant because it might worsen their condition.

Therefore, it is important to give light to this issue.

First of all, women with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) should be at peace at the fact that there has been no evidence recorded so far about multiple sclerosis impairing fertility, or causing spontaneous abortions, stillbirths and baby abnormalities.  Secondly, the belief that had been circulating before 1950 has already been reversed after hundreds of studies revealed that there is no proof to the idea that pregnancy worsens multiple sclerosis conditions. Many studies conducted over the decades have proven that multiple sclerosis does not adversely affect pregnancy, labour, nor in child birth. In fact, doctors have observed that symptoms or relapses of the disease seem to stabilize during the course of pregnancy until childbirth.

It is only after the baby is born, however, when the situation reverses as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) exacerbation occurs. Most of the women are likely to deal with a 20 to 40 percent risk of relapses during the first six months after childbirth.  But these relapses are not responsible for, nor serve as contributing factors to, the long-term MS disability.  At any rate, it is recommended that women with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) need to map out plans regarding who will take care of the baby, or bring them to the hospital during the post-partum relapse periods.

The temporary improvement or stability during pregnancy is thought to have been due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy. Specifically, prolactin, a hormone of lactation produced by the pituitary glands, which abounds in the course of pregnancy is said to be responsible for such improvement. Scientists believe that prolactin helps the body in the reconstruction of myelin, or the white fatty material that serves as a protective sheath around the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord, that has been damaged during regressions. You may be interested in checking out what are some of the MS symptoms.

Women who have been taking medications for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) need to be aware that some of these drugs might be harmful to the foetus or may cause birth defects when taken during pregnancy and breast feeding. That is why they have to consult with their respective physicians when considering pregnancy.  Particular drugs that have been identified to be harmful, include: prednisone, corticotrophin, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, diazepam, phenytoin, carbamazepine, and baclofen.

Another good news is that pregnant women with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) now have a decreasing chance of caesarean deliveries, no more likely to experience pre-eclampsia and other high blood pressure conditions, premature rupture of membranes, and having babies with poor prenatal growth rate.  In other words, they can now enjoy pregnancy like other women who do not have the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) disease.