I have MS but I plan on having children, do I have to come off my treatments?

In this video Heather interviews Ruth Dobson who is a Consultant Neurologist. The interview was filmed by Shift.ms

Video transcript

Heather from the MS community: I have MS but want to have children, do I have to come off of medication to have- or do I have to come off of treatments to have…?


Dr Ruth Dobson, Consultant Neurologist: So, that depends on lots of things.  It depends on what specific treatment you’re on and it depends on how active your MS was before you were on the treatment as well.  There are some treatments that we say really are not suitable to be on either when you’re trying to conceive or during pregnancy. And there’s other treatments that actually we’re far more relaxed about and we say that these, you know, we’ve had thousands of pregnancies on these treatments and actually there’s no evidence that they’re harmful.  So I’m not going to list all the treatments now and go through them. So it’s, it’s definitely not an absolute and I think it is individual and it depends on so many things, partly the treatment, but partly also your MS.


Heather: I think the important thing you’re saying here is that you need to kind of take a little bit of ownership of your future and kind of have the discussions that you want to have.


Dr Ruth Dobson: I think that’s exactly it and I think, sort of thinking about a family, thinking about a pregnancy’s very personal and actually, when you’re thinking about these things in an early stage, it can be really hard to bring these things up in a consultation with your neurologist, especially if you feel that you’re in and out in five minutes and it’s just a quick hello, no relapses, great, see you in a year.  But I think, when you’re thinking about these things, actually, when you have MS you do have to be that little bit more organised and this is one thing where you do have to say, hang on, I want to talk about this. A neurologist will be happy to talk about it, but they, we do need to know that it’s on your radar. So, as you say, taking ownership and saying hang on, this is something that’s important to me that I need to talk to you about.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing it with your neurologist, often MS nurses are a good person to approach in the first instance, because they have a lot of information about this as well. And they may raise it with your neurologist who then raises it with you.

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