MS Doesn’t Put Pregnant Women at Higher Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) – In a finding that should reassure women with multiple sclerosis (MS) who want to have a baby, new research suggests the disease does not increase the risk of pregnancy complications.

“Women with multiple sclerosis may understandably be concerned about the risks of pregnancy,” said study author Dr Melinda Magyari of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

“While previous research has shown that there is no higher risk of birth defects for babies born to women with MS, there are still many unknowns regarding pregnancy and MS,” Magyari said. . “We wanted to find out if women with MS are at risk of developing various pregnancy complications. We found that, overall, their pregnancies were just as healthy as those of mothers without MS.

In the study, researchers compared nearly 3,000 pregnant women with MS to nearly 57,000 pregnant women without autoimmune disease. All the women gave birth between 1997 and 2016.

There was no difference between the two groups in the risk of several pregnancy complications: preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placental complications, emergency cesarean section, instrumental delivery, stillbirth, premature birth, birth defects or low Apgar score. .

An Apgar score is a measurement of a newborn’s health – including heart rate, reflexes, and muscle tone – taken immediately after birth.

The study found that elective cesarean section rates were higher in women with MS (14%) than in those without MS (8%). After adjusting for other factors – like a previous Caesarean or the mother’s age – researchers concluded that women with MS were 89% more likely to have an elective Caesarean.

Other results were that women with MS were 15% more likely to have an induced delivery than women without MS, and women with MS were 29% more likely to have babies small for their gestational age ( 3.4% against 2.8%). The study was published in the Feb.3 online issue of the journal NeurologyClinical practice.

“We believe the reason more women with MS are having babies by elective cesarean or induced delivery may be related to MS-related symptoms such as muscle weakness, spasticity or fatigue that could affect the birth. “Magyari said in a press release. . “Any of these factors could make a mother more tired and lead to complications during childbirth that could prompt the clinician and the woman to take extra care.

More information

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has more on MS and pregnancy.

SOURCE: NeurologyClinical practice, press release, February 3, 2021

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