Reproductive counselling, treatment and course of pregnancy in 73 German MS patients

Acta Neurol Scand. 2008 Jul;118(1):24-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2007.00978.x. Epub 2008 Jan 16.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) often affects women during the reproductive years of their life. During this period, issues such as choice of immunomodulatory treatment, seeking advice from specialists, relapse-induced steroid application before, during or after pregnancy in combination with breastfeeding gain importance. The objective was to investigate these issues retrospectively using a questionnaire among 73 MS patients with a total of 88 pregnancies. Eighty per cent of the participants consulted their neurologists before and 60% during pregnancy. The annual relapse rate decreased during pregnancy and significantly increased during the first 3 months after delivery. Immunomodulatory treatment was stopped due to desired pregnancy for a mean of 4 years. Fourteen of the MS patients received intravenous immunoglobulin treatment post-natal. Ninety per cent of the study subjects started breastfeeding. However, nearly 30% ablactated, as they received steroids due to a relapse. Weight and height of the full-term children of singleton pregnancies from MS patients were significantly lower compared with the ones of age-matched healthy controls. Our results confirm the known reduced relapse rate during pregnancy, which is followed by an increased relapse rate after delivery. They shed light on the epidemiology of childbirth in patients with MS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Directive Counseling*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interferon beta-1a
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Interferon-beta
  • Interferon beta-1a