Years ago, women were discouraged from having children if they had been diagnosed with MS. The concern was that the disease would prevent mothers from raising their children. Studies show that isn’t necessarily the case.
Whether a women becomes pregnant before or after diagnosis, it seems that pregnancy helps in cases of multiple sclerosis.
When asked if symptoms will get worse during pregnancy, Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D. said, “Most women experience relief from most if not all MS symptoms during pregnancy. Also pregnancy seems to have a protective effect, possibly because itself reduces immune activity and levels of natural steroids are higher in pregnant women.”
The women who already have at least one child have a thirty-four percent less of the possibility of having a progressive state of multiple sclerosis.
According to studies, those women who do not have children are more likely to reach a stage of MS where they would need assistance in walking with a brace or a cane.
What else do the experts say?
In fact, according to an expert, Marie D’hooghe, from the Department of Neurology at the National MS Centrum which is located in Mesbroek, Belgium, women who have multiple sclerosis and children tend to have a benign type of MS. This finding is in comparison to those women who have not yet given birth.
The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) is a system for rating that is used as a tool by many physicians for determining the severity of the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. For instance, first level means the severity is least severe, level ten means death is near. On the sixth level, it means that he or she needs to make use of an assistive device for mobility.
In the study conduced by the researchers mentioned, three-quarters of the female respondents have already had children.
Researchers monitored the duration needed before the women reached sixth level based on the EDSS.
For those who had no experience giving birth usually had an average of thirteen up to fifteen years before finally progressing to the sixth level on the EDSS. On the other hand, those who already have children took twenty-two up to twenty-three years before reaching that stage.
Moreover, the Director of the biomedical research from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Patricia O’Looney, say that there are indeed benefits for female patients who have already had children. Still, however, there is not enough data derived from their demographics to totally come up with some conclusions.