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Medication for treating multiple sclerosis while trying to conceive

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a long-term autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that affects the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is a progressive disease, which is usually diagnosed when patients are between 20 and 40 years of age. The symptoms of multiple sclerosis may vary from person to person and can range from fatigue to impaired motor skills and sensory problems.

Women with multiple sclerosis who want to try for a baby may need to take several additional factors into account. However, most women with multiple sclerosis do not encounter any difficulties conceiving and pregnancy does not negatively influence the course of the disease.

Causes of multiple sclerosis

The exact causes of multiple sclerosis are still not fully understood. However, it is assumed that a combination of factors are at play. These include:

  • Genetic factors: There is some evidence that certain genes may increase the risk of multiple sclerosis.
  • Environmental factors: Various environmental factors have been associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis. Examples include smoking, a lack of vitamin D and viral infections.
  • Immune system: Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and damages the myelin in the central nervous system.
  • Geographic location: People living in northern latitudes have a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis than those living in more southerly latitudes.
  • Gender: Women have a greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis than men.



Medication for treating multiple sclerosis while trying to conceive

Multiple sclerosis can continue to be treated using medication while you are trying for a baby. Multiple sclerosis can be treated using a range of different medicines or active ingredients. You may have questions about how safe these medicines are while trying to conceive:

  • Interferon beta-1a (Avonex, Rebif)
  • Interferon beta-1b (Betaferon)
  • Interferon beta-1b (Extavia)
  • Peginterferon beta-1a (Plegridy)
  • Cladribine (Mavenclad)
  • Teriflunomide (Aubagio)
  • Dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera)
  • Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus)
  • Natalizumab (Tysabri)
  • Fingolimod (Gilenya)
  • Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada)
  • Siponimod (Mayzent)

Risks of medication for treating multiple sclerosis while trying for a baby

Women with multiple sclerosis who are trying to conceive face the important question of deciding whether to keep taking their medication during pregnancy. Since some multiple sclerosis medications may be harmful for the unborn child, this decision should be made in consultation with an experienced neurologist. While some medicines may have to be stopped, others can continue to be taken safely during pregnancy. Women with multiple sclerosis who are trying for a baby should be monitored closely by their neurologist to make sure that their symptoms remain under control before, during and after pregnancy.

To further enhance your understanding of this topic, we recommend exploring the article "Folic acid" as an additional resource.

Find out whether your multiple sclerosis medication is safe while you are trying to conceive


  • Gain comprehensive information on the risks and safety of your multiple sclerosis medication while trying to conceive.
  • Make decisions on the basis of trustworthy information on medication for treating multiple sclerosis.
  • Receive a written report summarising your personal multiple sclerosis medication consultation and share it with your doctor.


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