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  • MS_Navigators
    Are you thinking about having a child? What symptoms, questions or other details are complicating your decision or making it simpler?
  • igorima
    Today we went to consultation with our doctor. My wife should start treatment with glatiramer in 15 days. The medical suggested starting treatment and after 6 months of treatment we check. Is there any risk for the formation of the fetus while using glatiramer? Is there any risk to the mother? It is a good suggestion to start treatment or would be better to try pregnancy?
  • MS_Navigator_Ashley
    Hi Igorima, Thanks for your questions! Unfortunately, NONE of the MS disease modifying medications are approved for use during pregnancy. Here is a link to information on our website that may be helpful to review.  
    http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Living-Well-With-MS/Family-and-Relationships/Pregnancy

    I would encourage you to speak with your wife's doctor regarding recommendations on when to start treatment if you are considering having a baby.  

    I hope this information helps! 
    MS Navigator Ashley

     
  • jessarae
     Hi my name is Jessica I'm 31 years old and I was diagnosed with MS four years ago.  To be honest I don't really ever read in these chat rooms but I saw this in my email and it caught my attention .  I did not read everybody's replies to your question only a couple and I just want to say there are in fact a couple medications that have not shown any damage to the fetus .  I saw somebody say there's nothing safe or proven to be safe but that is not true she needs to do her research .  I have a four-year-old daughter and was diagnosed shortly after I had her I also resent me six months ago had a baby .  Neurologist might disagree but my personal opinion is stop medication during pregnancy symptoms subside and most often did not show up or become an issue throughout pregnancy .  As soon as I had my baby I started back up to make sure I didn't get a flareup . I used to take Copaxone but unfortunately all the symptoms really got to me  so I stopped using it about two years ago .  I don't know if you're familiar with the CBD oil you can do your own research but that is all that I use and I feel great .  Everybody's opinion and symptoms are different but for me getting off of all medication while I was pregnant it was very important to me especially since most of the time women do not get any flareups at all during pregnancy .   Copaxone happens to be one of the safest prescriptions out there and has shown no harm to a developing fetus and is safest for becoming pregnant.  Hope this gives a little insight . -Jessica 
  • BethyC
    I was diagnosed with MS about 3 weeks ago after showing signs of optic neuritis.  So this is all very new to me and overwhelming.  I'm 35 years old and I have not ruled out having children, but of course I'm concerned that if I do have children that I could pass this disease onto them. I'm also worried about taking the medication of course.  My Doctor advised that I could take the pills but if I were trying to get pregnant, I would have to get off of the pills right away and let him know. He said if I did get pregnant while on the pills accidentally that I would have to drink a shake of some kind, I'm assuming to flush the medication out of my system.  I have therefore decided that I will start one of the injection meds instead, as he said that I would be able to safely use the injections while trying to get pregnant. So I believe the medicine I am going to choose is Copaxone.  I just worry I guess about being on medication, passing MS to my unborn child, and the possibility of a flare up after I have the baby. 
  • jennifer_m
    Not for nothing, we are in the same boat.  I'm coming up to my 36'th birthday and want children as well, but was diagnosed with MS last December.  At my last neuro appointment my husband and I asked about the risks of having a child that may develop MS later in life.  We also asked about the likelyhood of our kids being epileptic since my husband is an epileptic. The odds of either were so low (less than 5 out of 1,000) that once my husband finishes school we want to have kids.  Besides, women with MS go in to remission (an absence of symptoms) when pregnant!
    I'm on Copaxone and know that once I'm pregnant I have to stop the shots, but where there is a will there is a way.  Keep a dialogue going with your doctors and they'll form a plan for you to have a healthy child and be as healthy as you can be.  I wish you lots of luck.
  • eh26
    I'd like to encourage you all. I was 33 at the onset of optic neuritis and was diagnosed with MS just before my 35th birthday. I started on Copaxone immediately. I had already had 2 miscarriages before the diagnosis, as well as a diagnosis of thyroid issues. I thought perhaps we should just give up. 
    Long story short I got pregnant and have had 2 healthy children between 36 and 40 years old while on the Copaxone. I even breast fed both babies - all while on my MS (and thyroid) meds. I did a lot of internet searching, emailed with researchers in the US and Europe, and talked to my doctor and other people who had walked this oath before me. It is possible. My kids are happy and healthy and a huge joy in my life. 
    I think in part because I stayed on my meds throughout I did not have relapses after either was born. And huge bonus, between the meds and the remissions induced by pregnancy the few lesions I had have shrunk to the point that they hardly appear on MRIs now. 
    I hope and pray that my experience is shared by all of you! 
    Good luck and very best wishes
    Eileen
  • BethyC
    Thank you so much ladies for sharing your thoughts and experiences!  How encouraging.  I feel like people have written me off for having kids just because I'm 35, and that frustrates me so much. It's so nice to hear from someone who has had kids after 35 who are healthy and happy and did it while having MS and thyroid issues (I have hypothyroidism).  Thanks for sharing your story and your encouragement about this sensitive subject!  It really means a lot to know there is hope to see this dream of mine hopefully come true some day! 
  • stephanie-wins
    I am 26 and was diagnosed about a year ago and my husband and I do want kids in the next few years. When we talked about all the different medications, the choice was clear, Copaxone. All the other meds had reported miscarriages with the drugs (people who happened to get pregnant during or shortly after a trial). Also, different drugs have different withdrawal (waiting period) before the meds are out of your body and it's safe to get pregnant. My doctor is advising me to take Copaxone all the way till I get pregnant, then stop (she said there were not really any studies done on pregnant women with MS) then start Copaxone after I'm done breastfeeding. I am still looking for more information on how all the parts of the process work (meds, pregnancy, post pardum).
  • alt258
    I'm 30 and was diagnosed last year. I began Rebif and was on it for about 6 months when I found out I was pregnant. Is topped taking Rebif and was only Injectingfor about a month before I took a home pregnancy test. My daughter was just born 3 weeks ago, completely healthy. During the course of the pregnancy, I didn't have any MS symptoms. Some mild tingling in my legs and feet when it was super hot or I overdid it, but would go away as soon as I slowed down and had some water. I was able to deliver naturally (no drugs, vaginally) and so far have not had a return of symptoms. I'm at a very high risk of relapse during the next couple months, but so far, no issues. I'm able to  breastfeed and can maintain the "up every 2-3 hours" feeding schedule, so it is possible! Obviously everyone is different, but don't count yourself out just because of the MS. Also, the chances of passing it on to your child are only about 2% or less. 
  • jandj400
    I got pregnant while taking copaxone. Everything seems fine so far. I stopped taking after i found out.
  • cochima
    Im in my second year waiting for a disability hearing and further diagnosis i have had so many symptoms from head to toe. I wanted children but health is progressivly getting worse at 36. In the middle of getting symptoms diagnosed i found out i am pregnant now 19 weeks and happily suprised. The drs i had visited said there is little they can do for me till the baby is born. Good news is that my symptoms have gone into a slight remission giving me the ability to walk and between pregnancy fatigue and nausea i have a bit of energy for daily tasks i have not had in three years. I am a bit worried that i will have head to toe symptoms return post partom. Hope to hear from others and how they did post pardom. Husband is unfamiliar with chronic illnesses and he wants(does not need) me to work though my symptoms have me using a walker needing wheelchair and cant drive much due to cognative issues. Speech returned while ive been pregnant too. Hope for ideas knowing the symptoms will return so that i can stay as independant as possible feel husband may be more shocked than me of the severity of symptoms postpardom.
  • NeilB
    My wife has had MS for almost 10 years and shortly before her 30th birthday she gave birth to our first child in March 2015. She was taking Gilenya previous to becoming pregnant and stopped taking it about 6 months before we started trying. Throughout her pregnancy she said that she had never felt better and showed no symptoms at all. Shortly after giving birth she had a relapse with was treated with IV steroids. Once my wife went back to work, about 5 months after our son was born, she began taking Gilenya again and showed no signs of a relapse. She went off Gilyena again about 5 months ago as we wanted to have another child. She has felt great so far and hopefully during this next pregnancy she will feel as good as she did during the first one. I can remember my mother (who also had MS) tell me that while she was pregnant with me, my sister and my brother, she never showed any symptoms and never felt better.
  • katty85
    I was diagnosed last year at age 30. I was put on Tysabri immediately following steroid treatment. I told my Neuro I wanted to start a family -- which I had been trying to do over the last two years before my diagnosis. On top of MS, i'm Bipolar and have PCOS. Withdrawing from my psych drugs was the most unpleasant experience ever, but I did it! I dropped 50 lbs because I was Prediabetic. My Neuro also recommended me waiting 3 months after I was off Tysabri to start trying and go on Copaxone. Got that allll out of my system and I thought i'd be in the clear. Nothing. Now here I am over a year after my diagnosis, experiencing my 2nd bout of optic neuritis and not pregnant. I also had to go back on my pysch meds because of mood swings. I know my doctor is going to want me back on Tysabri. I am so frustrated. Everyone tells me "you're young" "you have time" but having MS makes me afraid of the unknown. How do I know what my health will be like a year from now?  Or 6 months from now? Are alternative forms of getting pregnant safe for women with MS?

    I've been for three MRI's in the last year and had no new lesions. My eye exam with my Opthamologist last month was perfect. I thought I was doing well. Now I can't see out of my right eye again and it just puts a damper on my family planning. :(
  • plaquemom
    I just wanted to say that I'm sorry and I hear you.  I wish I had an answer.  
    Many SSRI are considered safer during pregnancy.   Im not sure about the mess for bipolar but maybe an ssri can patch you through?
    i can only imagine what you are going through and just wanted to say I know it has to really be awful.  
    I have several friends who tried and tried and after a year were so frustrated but it was in the second year that hey for pregnant so I am hoping for that for you!
    gos bless you I will be praying for you 
  • cbonilla14
    I have been thinking of having a baby , but im scared. I just finished my treatment (tysabri) for 6 months butbi havent spoken to my doctor about it. Im scared because right now i think im having a flare up , my leg has been falling asleep, burning sensatiton like before , and now my back has been hurting , also i cant really feel when someone touches by back anymore . I dont want to get prego and have to get all these feelings because all i think about is dying when im like this. Im young but im ready for a kid and at the same time im in so much pain i dont think i can deal with pregnancy right now. I have not spoken to my doctor about it because i dont know how to bring it up. Help please ...
  • plaquemom
    Hello,
    dont be scared to talk to your doctor :) they hear and see allllllll kinds of stuff and the least weird or awkward is someone saying they want a baby :) :)
    i was diagnosed at 35 years old when my daughter was four.  My first symptoms were about a year after having my first and only child....
    so I can only explain what it is like to have MS after having a child....
    rhe first year I was symptom free.  The next three I was very very symptomatic (daily) and still am....  I can tell you that it was easier before I had symptoms.  But it's worth it and even knowing how hard it can be now, I'd do it again.  in fact, I'm thinking about having a second child.
    have your baby while you are young and have more energy :) it will be hard but you will find ways to adapt and overcome.
    sont be scared to tell you doctor.  Also you can start by telling your ob if that makes you more comfortable
     
  • jacquiep
    I am 30 years old and have been diagnosed for 5 years. I got pregnant at 27 while taking copaxone. I stopped taking it right after confirming pregnancy and later miscarried that child. I chose not to go back on meds as we planned on trying again. I got pregnant again 6 months later and now have a healthy 2.5 year old. My pregnancy was great. No symptoms or flare ups, lots of energy, the works. I breast fed for a couple of months and slowly weaned my daughter off breast milk before starting tecfedera. I have only had one relapse since the birth of my daughter and it was only a few months back. I have completely recovered from it and am now starting to think about having another child. Although iv only had one relapse my last MRI (just before my relapse)showed new leisions in my spine. My doc had advised another MRI to ensure I'm stable before going off meds and trying to get pregnant as the risk for relapse after pregnancy is much higher if your not already stable before pregnancy. My delima now is if I am not stable do I still try for another baby. I feel good now and with MS you never know when you will not feel good. I just don't know if I should listen to the doctor or my body. I know I still have plenty of time for more children but again who knows where I will be even a year from now health wise. Just wish there weren't so many unknowns with MS. Everyone that has it is so different I feel like we really have to listen to our own bodies sometimes and do what our intuitions are telling us. 
  • jacquiep
    I am 30 years old and have been diagnosed for 5 years. I got pregnant at 27 while taking copaxone. I stopped taking it right after confirming pregnancy and later miscarried that child. I chose not to go back on meds as we planned on trying again. I got pregnant again 6 months later and now have a healthy 2.5 year old. My pregnancy was great. No symptoms or flare ups, lots of energy, the works. I breast fed for a couple of months and slowly weaned my daughter off breast milk before starting tecfedera. I have only had one relapse since the birth of my daughter and it was only a few months back. I have completely recovered from it and am now starting to think about having another child. Although iv only had one relapse my last MRI (just before my relapse)showed new leisions in my spine. My doc had advised another MRI to ensure I'm stable before going off meds and trying to get pregnant as the risk for relapse after pregnancy is much higher if your not already stable before pregnancy. My delima now is if I am not stable do I still try for another baby. I feel good now and with MS you never know when you will not feel good. I just don't know if I should listen to the doctor or my body. I know I still have plenty of time for more children but again who knows where I will be even a year from now health wise. Just wish there weren't so many unknowns with MS. Everyone that has it is so different I feel like we really have to listen to our own bodies sometimes and do what our intuitions are telling us. 
  • cris88
    Hi,

    I am on Copaxone for 1 year and a half and now will have to switch to Rebif, as my last MRI is showing active lesions, although clinically I am ok and didn't have any flare since I was diagnosed, two years ago. I plan on having a baby after my lesions turn inactive, but it might take a while. Did anyone try to get pregnant after a break of taking Rebif? Thanks & lots of health to everyone!