I intend this blog to be a mixture of my personal experiences with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and news related to MS. Hopefully, I can shed an optimistic light on MS even though it is difficult to be an optimist living with MS.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pregnancy & MS

I recently got a comment requesting information on how MS is affecting my pregnancy.  Rather than just reply to that one person, I thought I would share with all who may be curious.

I have been very lucky.  I have had a fairly "easy" pregnancy and my MS has been very manageable and almost non-existent.  By "easy" pregnancy, I mean that I got lucky and didn't really have any morning sickness and aside from not sleeping well and minor aches and pains, I haven't had any real complaints.  Regarding my MS, I stopped taking my MS medications when I learned I was pregnant, so I have been off treatments for approximately 30 weeks now.  I have barely even thought about my MS throughout this pregnancy because my focus has been on having a healthy baby.  The only time I am really reminded of my MS is when we take our dog for walks (since I no longer take daily shots, I am not reminded quite as frequently).  On our walks, I do fine until we stop walking.  At that point, I generally have some sort of numbness or tingling in my lower back, buttocks and/or legs.  It is nothing debilitating, more annoying than anything else.  It is my understanding that these are just "residual" symptoms, meaning these are not new symptoms or relapses, just my old symptoms recurring.  Some of my first and most prominent symptoms have consistently been numbness and tingling in those areas and, to my knowledge, I have not experienced any new symptoms since I got pregnant.  I have spoken with my neurologist about getting an updated MRI done after the baby is born so that we can see if any new lesions have formed, but I am not sure how telling that will be regarding the pregnancy considering my last brain MRI was 4 months prior to my diagnosis (April 2010). 

That is an overview of how everything has been.  In my research, I have read that it is common for MS to go into remission during pregnancy because the immune system is suppressed during pregnancy and, therefore, not attacking itself.  I think this has been my experience just based on how I have felt physically throughout my pregnancy. 

As I am sure all of you know, MS varies so much from person to person and I was lucky enough to have been diagnosed very early on (when I only had 2 or 3 lesions).  Also, I had been doing very well before getting pregnant.  I had been on treatments for over a year and had been essentially symptom-free since January 2011 (about 10 months before getting pregnant). 

I hope this helps anyone who has/had questions.