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Fertility treatments are safe for people with MS

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 worry, according to a new study.

According to the researchers, participants with MS were no more likely to have a flare-up of the disease after receiving fertility treatments than they were before their treatments.

The study also found a link between MS drugs and no increase in relapses during fertility treatment.

“These findings are exciting, as MS is common in women of childbearing age, and those with MS are more likely to be diagnosed with infertility, but were less likely to receive fertility treatment than those who did not. don’t have MS,” said study co-author Dr. Edith Graham, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University in Chicago.

The results were published online March 15 in Neurology Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation.

“Fertility treatments for people with MS are not as risky as once thought. We haven’t seen many relapses in our cohort, likely due to the fact that most patients were treated with disease-modifying treatments in the previous year,” Graham said in a press release.

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

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

The participants had been diagnosed for an average of eight years, although none had progressive MS.

Participants had 124 cycles of fertility treatments among them, including in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination and oral medications to induce ovulation.

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

About 43% were receiving disease-modifying therapy for their MS during fertility treatments. Most had received treatment within the previous year.

According to the study, none of the people on disease-modifying therapy relapsed within three months of stimulation.

The research also found no different rates in women who became pregnant after their fertility treatments compared to those whose treatment did not end in pregnancy.

“We hope our results will reassure people with MS as well as fertility experts that these treatments are not associated with high risks of relapses,” Graham said. “It’s important for people to remember that continuing with disease-modifying treatments at the right time 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 by brain scans was not available in all cases.

More information

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has more on MS.

SOURCE: Neurology Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation, press release, March 15, 2023

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