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Old 08-17-2013, 11:35 AM   #1
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Post Pregnancy and relapse

Does anyone know why mothers relapses (and in many cases are first diagnosed) after pregnancy. I developed eye trouble 4 months postpartum and was diagnosed 10 months postpartum. I probably had MS for years, but the severity of my relapse 4 months after birth is what resulted in me going to the Dr and getting diagnosed. Had my vision not blurred I would have just made excuses for my other symptoms (muscle pain/twitching and leg tingling). Perhaps if I didn't have a baby I would have went years without realizing that I had MS. I assume it has something to do with hormones.

Having said all of that, it concerns me to have a 2nd child. For those of you that have had babies after diagnosis, what was your Dr.'s opinion on it and how did you prevent or minimize the following relapse?

 
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Re: Post Pregnancy and relapse

Buddy123M,

While you are pregnant, your body produces estriol which has been shown to suppress MS in the mother. Once the estriol production ends, then it is like a dam breaking open and you can be hit with an MS attack. Estriol seems to suppress MS in most MSers with child, but not all. There are ongoing studies using estriol alone and in combination with other DMDs to see if there is a long term solution to MS for women.

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Old 08-18-2013, 04:14 PM   #3
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Re: Post Pregnancy and relapse

I'm on the fence (regardless of MS) if I want another child. My neuro highly recommends it as it will supress any MS and says just to medicate after birth to reduce relapse. Since my MS came on after I gave birth (like I said, I lost some vision in my left eye and may not even know I had MS if it wasn't for that) it makes me leary to have another child. If I lost part of my vision after the first one, what may happen after a second one.

 
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:27 PM   #4
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Re: Post Pregnancy and relapse

Buddy,
keep in mind that if there is any chance you want to get pregnant, youll need to NOT be on any disease modifying drugs for at least six months.....
As far as post pregnancy, if having a baby was the reason for your diagnosis, it would have happened within the first week to month of delivery- not 4 months later......Women who have MS are usually put on IV steroids immediately after delivering to minimize any immediate Hormone changes- and are advised NOT to breast feed and return to their disease modifying drug choice the same day they deliver...
Its a very personal decision. Yes, you will be protected during pregnancy and probably feel great; however there is an enormous chance you will relapse immediately upon giving birth and unless you have a very strong support system, taking care of a newborn plus an older toddler, may be more than you are capable of doing on your own...
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:49 PM   #5
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Re: Post Pregnancy and relapse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddy123M View Post
I'm on the fence (regardless of MS) if I want another child. My neuro highly recommends it as it will supress any MS and says just to medicate after birth to reduce relapse. Since my MS came on after I gave birth (like I said, I lost some vision in my left eye and may not even know I had MS if it wasn't for that) it makes me leary to have another child. If I lost part of my vision after the first one, what may happen after a second one.
Buddy123M,

There will always be no guarantee with regards to MS. you might never have another vision problem. No one knows. I did not have issues with my eyes until 2002.

You will need to avoid DMDs if you want a second child and if your breast feed, you will have to be careful with DMDs too. You should discuss all this with your OB/GYN and neuro. If you are breast feeding, the estriol may remain in production (but again, no guarantee).

There are other MSers who have had many children. whatever you decide, make your decision carefully and with confidence.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
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Re: Post Pregnancy and relapse

I haven't been put on any medication yet as my Dr. wants me to decided if I want another child first.

I have read that the increased risk of relapse is most common between 4-6 months after delivery (my eye blurred at about 4 1/2 months, my Neuro says its permanent as it is now 8 months later and my vision has not recovered.).

I am very pro breastfeeding (especially since some studies show reduced rates of MS in individuals that were BF). I would have to discuss this with my Neurologiest and find out if there is some way I could still BF.

I'm still confused about relapse vs. progression. If have a relapes after giving birth and I have a strong support system, this doesn't seem that bad (I am in the initial stages of MS so this does not yet affect me that bad). If there is a chance of my disease progressing faster after birth, than I have a different opinion.

My Neuro highly recommends that I "get pregnant and stay pregnant". He even put in my report to my doctor.

Thanks to both of you for the info.

 
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:48 AM   #7
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Re: Post Pregnancy and relapse

Buddy123M,

Your doctor is doing you a favor to allow you to make a decision. As to attack vs progression- MS by the fact that it is a progressive, chronic disease is progressive. That is it will worsen over time. Your rate of progression will vary from another with MS. There is no way to tell if your rate will be glacial or rapid. Attacks generally increase as the disease progresses into a different type. I have progressive MS.

I know that there is a correlation between lower breast cancer, higher child IQ and healthier babies for those who breastfeed.

There is no "textbook" relapse post-pregnancy. As to your vision problem, it can still heal. Some people recover more slowly. I have had problems which have taken 2 years from which to recover. Again, no one can set something in stone with MS.

The one thing that I have found is that avoiding the avoidable triggers of MS can reduce attacks and empower you. By the time you have your baby, perhaps the estriol studies will have been published.
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