Myasthaenia Gravis: Clinical management issues before, during and after pregnancy

Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2017 Aug;17(3):e259-e267. doi: 10.18295/squmj.2017.17.03.002. Epub 2017 Oct 10.


Myasthaenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder which is twice as common among women, often presenting in the second and third decades of life. Typically, the first trimester of pregnancy and first month postpartum are considered high-risk periods for MG exacerbations. During pregnancy, treatment for MG is usually individualised, thus improving its management. Plasma exchange and immunoglobulin therapies can be safely used to treat severe manifestations of the disease or myasthaenic crises. However, thymectomies are not recommended because of the delayed beneficial effects and possible risks associated with the surgery. Assisted vaginal delivery-either vacuum-assisted or with forceps-may be required during labour, although a Caesarean section under epidural anaesthesia should be reserved only for standard obstetric indications. Myasthaenic women should not be discouraged from attempting to conceive, provided that they seek comprehensive counselling and ensure that the disease is under good control before the start of the pregnancy.

Keywords: Disease Management; Myasthenia Gravis; Neonatal Myasthenia Gravis; Postpartum Period; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Epidural
  • Cesarean Section
  • Contraindications, Procedure
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / therapeutic use
  • Myasthenia Gravis / therapy*
  • Plasma Exchange
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Thymectomy / adverse effects


  • Immunoglobulins