Fertility treatments are not dangerous for people with MS

Written by Cara Murez

Health Day reporter

THURSDAY, March 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Women with multiple sclerosis who want to undergo fertility treatment can do so without problems, according to a new study.

The researchers found that participants with MS were no more likely to have a flare-up of the disease after fertility treatments than before treatment.

The study found an association between MS treatment and no increase in relapses during fertility treatment.

“These findings are exciting because MS is common among women of childbearing age, and those with MS are more likely to be diagnosed with infertility but less likely to receive fertility treatment than those without MS,” said the study’s co-author . author Dr. Edith Graham, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University in Chicago.

The results were published online on March 15 Neurology Neuroimmunology and neuroinflammation.

“Fertility treatment for people with MS is not as risky as we once thought. We did not see many relapses in our cohort, likely due to the fact that the majority of patients had been treated with disease-modifying therapy in the previous year,” Graham said in a journal press release.

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MS, a chronic disease of the central nervous system, is potentially disabling.

The researchers studied 65 women with an average age of 37 who had received at least one fertility treatment. 56 of them had MS. Nine had clinically isolated syndrome, which is the first episode of MS symptoms.

Participants were diagnosed an average of eight years ago, although none had progressive MS.

Participants received 124 cycles of fertility treatment, including in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination, and oral medications to induce ovulation.

The researchers searched the participants’ medical records for relapses in the year before fertility treatments and in the three months after each treatment.

About 43% received disease-modifying therapy for MS during fertility treatments. Most of them received treatment in the previous year.

According to the study, none of those receiving disease-modifying therapy relapsed three months after stimulation.

The research also did not find that the proportion of women who became pregnant after fertility treatments was no different from those who did not end up pregnant.

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“We hope our results will reassure people with MS, as well as fertility experts, that these treatments are not associated with an increased risk of relapse,” Graham said. “It’s important for people to remember that appropriately timed disease-modifying treatments during fertility treatment can reduce the risk of relapse.”

A limitation of the study was that it looked back in time and confirmation of relapses with brain scans was not available in all cases.

More information

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has more information about MS.

SOURCE: Neurology Neuroimmunology and neuroinflammation, press release, March 15, 2023

Source: https://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/news/20230316/fertility-treatments-pose-no-danger-to-people-with-ms?src=RSS_PUBLIC