Some of the newer MS medications are contraindicated with pregnancy, including drugs that must be stopped for a period of time before a patient attempts to become pregnant, such as Aubagio or Gilenya. However, approximately half of all pregnancies are unintended, whether mistimed, unplanned, or unwanted, according to the CDC. So it is important to do some planning in advance to prepare yourself for the unexpected.
Talking to Your Doctor
Neurologists have much area to cover in a brief period of time during appointments. Family planning and reproduction are topics that likely do not rank in the top ten things to discuss with your MS doctor.
My neurologist may have asked once, ten years ago, whether starting a family was something I needed to discuss. Currently, my rheumatologist asks during each appointment whether my husband and I plan to have children and whether we are using consistent birth control as one of my medications is known to cause birth defects and miscarriages. It doesn’t matter that I’m almost 47 years old, my doctor still asks.
In addition to discussing symptoms and disability, please talk to your doctor about issues related to sexual activity, pregnancy, medication use, contraception, and family planning. Listed below are medications (included in the HealthCentral article), commonly used with MS patients, which have been categorized as carrying some level of risk to an unborn fetus. Research other medications on websites such as drugs.com.
If the topic of pregnancy, family planning, and MS medications is one which concerns you, please take time during your next doctor’s visit to discuss these concerns. If you do become pregnant while taking one of these medications, you can contact patient pregnancy registry programs to report drug exposure.
Read this post in its entirety:
Drugs to Take (And Not to Take) When Pregnant with MS