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Pregnancy with RRMS

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    Pregnancy with RRMS

    I am 36 years old and been diagnosed with RRMS since I was 27. I have had a relatively stable few years and currently taking Gilenya and 3 symptom management medications. My partner and I are considering trying to get pregnant and I would love to hear some feedback from others who have had children after diagnosis. I have spoken with my doctor and continue to do so but would love a boots on the ground perspective.

    How were your symptoms affected?
    How was progression affected?
    How did you feel during and after?
    Any neuro weirdness during childbirth?
    How soon did you restart meds after birth?
    Anything else you can share that might be helpful?
    Did you have more than one child? I'm thinking about having two as back to back as I can.

    Hi there - I was diagnosed at 29 and had my son at 34. I was on Avonex at the time and stopped during the pregnancy. I think my pregnancy was somewhat harder with MS. Not so much because of the MS but because of the symptoms that lack of sleep brought on ... and that continued through toddlerhood. Lack of sleep did exacerbate my symptoms for sure but otherwise, I did fine. I breastfed for a month and then restarted Avonex from there, but this was 16 years ago so the medical guidance on this might be different now. It was all worth it - without question - but do think what lack of sleep might do to you and try to plan ahead. If you can, you may want to line up help in advance. Good luck!


      I have replied to Marta in 'i can relate' the following:

      Hi Marta,
      I was wondering if you were aware that one of the most common incidences of ms rearing its ugly head is documented as coinciding with a new arrival?

      I had probably had ms for years with not much more than minor issues to deal with.
      Then BAM.. i was sooo tired during pregnancy that i slept most of the time and not long after birth i had my first major attack ,which resulted in almost complete paralysis for a time and a 2 week stay in hospital.

      This did take a lot to recover from and it wasn't easy looking after a new born baby and also dealing with the ongoing pain and weakness.

      But- it took another 10 years to get my official diagnosis -apparently, it was all in my head- head AND spine actually- so in that time we managed to have an additional 4 children.
      NOT PLANNED mind you, just took a while to figure out what was causing the issue.

      The thing is that i didn't have any more major attacks with additional pregnancies.
      Ongoing issues yes that some one not dealing with ms would think unusual but normal for me.

      I have now had ms for about 33 years and my eldest is almost 31. And he has given me a beautiful grand daughter to spend time with

      I have since done some research on ms and pregnancy.
      Statistics show that women who have more than 1 or 2 children seem to endure less frequent and less severe exacerbation's than those who have none, 1 or 2. And so in the long term sustain less damage to come back and bight them on the behind later.
      No real reason for this has been determined definitively just ongoing theories.
      The one i lean towards most strongly is to do with hormones.

      So even though we didn't 'plan' to have 5 children (i actually requested tubal ligation after 3 but doc said 'too'young)and used traditional birth control - not only do we not regret the joy they gave i apparently benefited by lessening my lesion load by carrying them.

      This may not be of much help to you but i hope it lessens your concerns a little

      How were your symptoms affected? - First one - bad- additional, no flares till much later
      How was progression affected? - is believed to be better than expected.
      How did you feel during and after? - Very tired
      Any neuro weirdness during childbirth? - No.
      How soon did you restart meds after birth?- N/A 1987>. Began interferon 1B 31 to 36yrs old.
      Breastfeeding???? -fine.
      Anything else you can share that might be helpful?- Put in place a plan to get all the rest YOU need!!
      Did you have more than one child? I'm thinking about having two as back to back as I can. - 1 and 2.5 yrs later 4 under 4YO. Have a couple back to back, but i certainly wouldn't recommend what we did!!!
      I recommend going back into the achives on msw and reading older replies on this subject. A lot of posts by those who have been there and done that etc.
      Hope this has been of help.


        My wife was diagnosed with RRMS three years before she gave birth to our first daughter. During her first pregnancy, her MS symptoms pretty much disappeared, and she felt great. While pregnant with our second daughter three years later, the MS symptoms abated somewhat, but not to the extent the first one did. That said, in our experience, having kids definitely has hastened her decline due to all the energy caring for children requires. She was diagnosed one year before we got married, and at that time, required no mobility devices. 18 years and two kids later she needs two canes just to stand up. I'm sure glad we had kids because they are the joy of my life, but I'm telling you that you will pay for it. It's up to you to decide if it's worth it. It was to us.


          Although the majority of women with MS are diagnosed during their reproductive years, most of our patients are successful in achieving a happy, healthy pregnancy and are able to enjoy parenthood to the fullest extent. It is important to familiarize yourself with the effects of pregnancy on the course of MS, the effects of MS on the course of pregnancy, and the evidence regarding the use of disease-modifying medications in pregnancy. We ask our patients to inform us when they are considering pregnancy and dedicate an appointment to establishing an individualized pregnancy and MS treatment plan. This plan is different for every person and should take into consideration your preferences, age, the severity/aggressiveness of your MS, which DMT you take, and a number of other factors.



            thank you everyone! I appreciate your answers. I will try to find some older posts on the topic. I couldn't locate any the last time I looked.