Women with pregnancy after versus before a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis have fewer children and at an older age, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.
Bernardita Soler, from the Hospital Doctor Sótero del Río in Santiago, Chile, and colleagues explored the trends in pregnancy decision-making and outcomes before and after MS diagnosis (PreMS and PostMS, respectively). A questionnaire was developed for retrospective assessment of pregnancy outcomes; 218 women responded to the questionnaire, of whom 67 did not have pregnancies.
The researchers found that 299 pregnancies were registered, including 223 PreMS (97 women; mean, 2.5 ± 1.3 per women) and 76 PostMS (59 women; mean, 1.9 ± 1.1 per woman). In PreMS and PostMS women, mean age at first pregnancy was 27.6 ± 6.2 and 32.6 ± 4.6 years, respectively. Certain pregnancy outcomes differed significantly for PreMS and PostMS, including cesarean section (37 versus 66 percent; odds ratio, 2.74); suspected relapse during six months after birth (7 versus 18 percent); and breastfeeding (83 versus 67 percent). There was no difference observed between the groups in gestational age and weight/size at birth. Major malformations were similar in the groups.
“More evidence is needed in order to support decision making and to improve the care of women with MS who are of childbearing age,” the authors write.