UK consensus on pregnancy in multiple sclerosis: 'Association of British Neurologists' guidelines

Pract Neurol. 2019 Apr;19(2):106-114. doi: 10.1136/practneurol-2018-002060. Epub 2019 Jan 5.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is more common in women than men and is most commonly diagnosed in early adulthood; thus, many patients will not have completed their families at the time of diagnosis. There is increasing awareness of the importance of early treatment in preventing long-term disability in MS. Delaying treatment until women with MS have completed their families can lead to the development of irreversible disability in at least some cases. It is therefore important to discuss family planning and pregnancy proactively. However, to date there is limited evidence to inform such discussions. We set out to develop consensus guidelines for the treatment of MS in pregnancy to encourage and facilitate discussions in this important area. The guidelines draw on available evidence from drug-specific pregnancy registers and published literature and have been scored by a panel of experts from a variety of disciplines using modified Delphi criteria. They cover prepregnancy counselling, management during pregnancy, delivery and anaesthetic options, postpartum advice and specific advice regarding currently licensed disease-modifying drugs. As the complexity and range of available disease-modifying drugs increase, further data gathering via a UK-wide MS pregnancy register is recommended.

Keywords: disease modifying therapy; multiple sclerosis; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • Neurologists / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Postpartum Period / physiology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Pregnancy*
  • Sex Factors
  • United Kingdom