Multiple sclerosis, otherwise known as MS, is a disease that affects your central nervous system. It is chronic and can vary in intensity and its disabling effects. If mildly affected the symptoms are few and do not interfere with your lifestyle. However, it can leave some sufferers unable to walk, write, or speak due to interruptions in the brain or musculature. There is no clearcut knowledge of a cause, only possibilities that it can be due to an autoimmune disorder, the environment, viruses, or genetics.
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis tend to run the gamut and can be long lasting or of short duration. They can vary in frequency as well as intensity from very mild to very severe or in a combination of variable degrees. Some of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis are: coordination difficulties, fatigue, muscle spasms and weakness, shaking tremors, numbness, speech difficulties, loss of hearing and/or dizziness.
Determining whether or not multiple sclerosis is the diagnosis sometimes is only found by testing the individual, as symptoms may go unnoticed if it is only a mild case. Some cognitive impairments associated with multiple sclerosis are a poor memory, poor judgment, attention difficulties, and/or problems with concentration. Sometimes the symptoms are misleading, as these symptoms also play a part in other conditions.
Pregnancy for a person who has multiple sclerosis is considered a high-risk. It is noted that a woman who is pregnant and not aware that she has multiple sclerosis will notice some symptoms at this time of her life. Multiple sclerosis symptoms are sometimes also exhibited after the woman delivers her child.
Having multiple sclerosis during pregnancy, depending on the severity of the disease, will make the pregnancy difficult. However, it does not seem to make the multiple sclerosis patient any worse or any better otherwise. When the actual delivery of the baby is in progress feelings in the pelvic area may go unnoticed and this is sometimes a problem due to the inability of the mother to push the baby through the birth canal. In cases such as this, forceps would be necessary to assist in the delivery process.
This said, the pregnant mother that is afflicted with multiple sclerosis will need to visit the obstetrician more frequently for a closer monitoring of her pregnancy. At times medications, such as anti-inflammatories and steroids, are more apt to be used in a pregnant MS patient.
Multiple sclerosis, no doubt, is a condition that needs careful medical supervision and care, but being pregnant with multiple sclerosis will definitely increase the need for careful monitoring not only for the mother, but for the developing child as well. If you are a multiple sclerosis patient who has become pregnant it is important that you tell your doctor at the initial time of discovery. Your doctor will be able to offer additional guidance and care pertinent to your medical condition to give you and your unborn child the best possible circumstances for ensuring a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Pregnancy and Reproductive Issues
Johns Hopkins Medicine: Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy
American Academy of Neurology: Good News on Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy
Multiple Sclerosis Society: Pregnancy and birth
Cleveland Clinic: Multiple Sclerosis Pregnancy
Seminars in Neurology: Pregnancy and Multiple Sclerosis
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry with Practical Neurology: Pregnancy and Multiple Sclerosis