MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and Getting Pregnant

Posted By Braverman IVF & Reproductive Immunology || 28-Jun-2012

When young women get a diagnosis of MS (Multiple Sclerosis), which is more prevalent in women of childbearing age than any other age group, one of their many concerns is how this will affect them getting pregnant.

If you have had failed IVF's or recurrent pregnancy loss and you've been told that your autoimmune disease is not a factor, than you need to come and talk with us. Whatever the immune defect is that is causing your body to attack its own organs -- it is present in your body. What happens in pregnancy is that the defect prevents your embryo from developing its' own immune tolerance. That is why it is important to plan your pregnancy with your neurologist and your OBGYN early on, and to maintain that relationship throughout your pregnancy. Otherwise, you may have issues with normal implantation of the embryo or late pregnancy complications such as placental abruption, intrauterine growth retardation and, in some cases, still birth.

At our practice we have found with our patients that women with a history of recurrent pregnancy loss and a history of autoimmune diseases like MS -- that their conditions are related, and the autoimmune disease is the culprit. Many of these patients, surprisingly, are not immediately referred to our center, because there are still a lot of misconceptions regarding the contribution of autoimmune disease to the process of recurring pregnancy loss. It is important to understand that the same mechanisms that each organ in the body must use to protect itself from the maternal immune system are the same mechanisms that an embryo must use to create immune tolerance for itself and its survival. So it is logical to expect that when there is a break down in the mother's own immune system, to the point where it is attacking her own organs and her own blood vessels, that it is more than likely that the embryo is going to have a problem protecting itself, too.

We are able to break down most immune issues into two groups: those that are antibody mediated (i.e. Lupus), and those that are inflammatory (i.e. Crohns, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis). Although, how they attack the embryo may be different, we understand how each of the autoimmune diseases interacts with the embryo's ability to protect itself, and we treat accordingly. We have had great success with our treatments! Please call us to learn more.

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