Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated demyelinating disease of the nervous system of unknown etiology, characterized by relapses and remissions of neurologic deficits. In basic terms, MS is a disease where the immune system attacks the protective covering of nerves, leading to symptoms such as vision loss, fatigue, pain, and impaired coordination.
In multiple large series, women with MS tend to have lower relapse rates during pregnancy, but an increased rate of relapse in the few weeks after giving birth, and then an eventual return to baseline risk without any long-term effects on disability. Neither epidural anesthesia nor breastfeeding appear to have an adverse effect on the rate of relapse or progression of disability.
Fortunately, there is no strong evidence showing that MS causes significantly worse pregnancy outcomes amongst women compared to control groups. Aside from delivery-related complications in women with neurologic deficit, women with MS have a high chance of a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Most women with MS do well during pregnancy and require no additional interventions or ultrasound tests. If needed, women with MS can control their flares with bedrest and glucocorticoids. While interferon is considered a class C drug, and glatiramer acetate is considered a class B, neither have been studied extensively in pregnancy, and are not used routinely for pregnant women with MS. Contact us today if you have any questions regarding MS and Pregnancy, or visit our blog page.
Maternal Fetal Medicine blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!