Myth: People with MS shouldn’t have children.
I personally don’t want to have children at this point in my life and I am really, really good with that decision. There were several years in my 30s where I dreamed of kids and felt it was something I needed to experience. Now, in my 40s, single and happy, my perspective has changed. I love children and I embrace the kids of my closest friends as if they were my own.
But much like my diagnosis, I accept that what has been handed to me is most likely a gift, and my lack of offspring is no exception. Because I am single and childless at 44.5 years of age, I am certain it is for a good reason and I feel incredibly content with what life has presented to me up to this point.
So when anyone assumes that I don’t have children because I have MS, I feel an insistent urge to correct and teach immediately. My MS has literally zero to do with the zero number of kiddos in my life. In fact, this myth is so untrue that it needs to be busted. Here we go:
According to John Hopkins Medicine:
- Pregnancy does not appear to speed up the course or worsen the effects of MS
- Studies have shown that pregnancy, delivery, and rate of birth defects are not significantly different in women with MS compared with those without MS.
Chances are high that an MS patient’s pregnancy and delivery will be just like those of women without MS. It is always highly recommended that you talk to your doctor if you are planning a pregnancy, and this is exceptionally true with MS patients. Your physician may want to give you a specialized pregnancy program that helps reduce any unnecessary stress on the body as well as monitoring what medications should be adjusted. However, doctors do not discourage MS patients from getting pregnant except in rare cases of advanced disease progression.
MS is more prevalent in women of childbearing age than in any other group.my-ms.org: pregnancy and reproductive issues
Research even shows that MS flare-ups tend to decrease — especially in the latter two-thirds of a pregnancy.Healthline: Find your fierce with MS
In general, pregnancy does not appear to affect the long-term clinical course of MS. Women who have MS and wish to have a family can usually do so successfully with the assistance of their neurologist and obstetrician.national ms society: news
If you find out someone is diagnosed with MS, talk to them. Everyone with Multiple Sclerosis is completely different, experiencing a vast array of symptoms and distinct phases of this disease. At the very least, you might learn something and break a cycle of mythology that is long overdue to be broken.
Photo by Jens Johnsson on Unsplash.