As I have said in earlier posts, I don’t have MS, but I am living with four other autoimmune disorders. It seems that many autoimmune disorders have symptoms that overlap and can cause us all to ask the same questions about living with a disorder. I’m in my fifties and I never had children. Still, I am interested in this subject.
My questions today are,
- Does MS affect pregnancy?
- Does MS hinder becoming pregnant?
- Does MS affect the baby?
- Does getting pregnant cause MS to become worse?
Does MS affect pregnancy? and Does MS affect the baby?
The March of Dimes has an answer to my first and third questions.
Having MS doesn’t seem to affect getting pregnant. During pregnancy, many women find their MS symptoms stay the same or even get better, especially during the third trimester. But if you have MS, you may be more likely than other women to have:
- A small-for-gestational-age baby. This means a baby who is smaller than normal based on the number of weeks he’s been in the womb.
- Trouble pushing your baby out during labor and birth. This can happen if your MS symptoms affect your pelvic muscles and nerves.
- A cesarean birth (also called c-section). This is surgery in which your baby is born through a cut that your doctor makes in your belly and uterus. Experts aren’t sure why women with MS are more likely than other women to have a c-section. It may be because of muscle problems that may delay labor.
Does MS hinder becoming pregnant?
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: There is no evidence that MS impairs fertility.
Women who have MS and wish to have a family can usually do so successfully with the assistance of their neurologist and obstetrician.
Does getting pregnant cause MS to become worse?
Women with MS may be more likely to have a flare in the first 3 to 6 months after giving birth. But researchers think that being pregnant doesn’t affect the overall course of MS later in life.
Over the past 40 years, many studies have been done in hundreds of women with MS, and they have almost all reached the opposite conclusion: that pregnancy reduces the number of MS relapses, especially in the second and third trimesters.
According to WebMD, you may get a break from your MS symptoms. That’s because pregnancy naturally protects many women from new flares, especially after the first 3 months.
Action Step: If you are living with MS and have been pregnant, please share some words of encouragement for other readers who may be thinking about becoming pregnant.