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  • MegFev

    This is a bit of a long story and I apologize for that but feel I need to explain my whole situation (or maybe I'm trying to justify my decision...) 

    I've wanted kids since I was a kid. I've always wanted to experience pregnancy, at least once, and being a mom is a huge dream of mine. So I worked with my neurologist to find the correct time to come off my MS meds, wait three months then try to get pregnant. 

    So in April of 2015 my husband and I want to a fertility clinic to make sure that we didn't have any fertility problems that would impede us getting pregnant quickly. All the tests checked out.  I prefer to do things as natural as possible so I asked if I could try naturally for a few months before we moved on to any assistance. I've been tracking fetility symptoms for over two years at that point so I felt confident we could maximize trying naturally. Once I was off my MS meds (Gilenya) for three months in October 2015, I unfortunately experienced a relapse of my MS and needed an emergency surgery for something completely unrelated so I was told I had to hold off on trying to conceive for that month. I was sad but knew I had to get in better health.

    So I waited until the next month, was feeling much better and got the go ahead to try. But unfortunately we got a negative pregnancy test. At this point I had been off the MS meds for five months, and was worried about waiting another month to try naturally so we went through with an insemination in December which gave us a positive pregnancy. 

    But life sucks and is never fair and at the end of January 2016 our pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. I had a D&C because they said that was the best way to ensure getting everything out so we could start again but we'd still have to wait two months to let me body heal. In the mean time, most likely due to the stress, I experienced another relapse of my MS. My MS is really sensitive to stress and there was no way I could avoid the stress to my body or my emotions given the grief and turmoil I was in. 

    So we get through the two months of wait time and try another IUI in April. Negative. Try again in May. Negative. 

    In June I had to go out of town for two weeks during my fertile window so we couldn't try that month. Maybe that was good, to take a break.

    So now we come to July. I've completed grad school by this point, work is slowing down for the summer, and I'm feeling less stressed...sort of. My RE wants us to consider IVF but will leave the decision up to me. We decide to do another insemination. I honestly felt we had done it this time. All my numbers and scans were great, his numbers were lower than they liked but still higher than our first successful insemination. I did lots of other things during our conception phase that have helped other women. I wasn't sleeping well but I've had a problem with that for years. But sadly, this cycle ended in another negative. 

    I'm devastated. At this point, I have been off my MS meds for a year. My neurologist is getting nervous, my husband is worried I'm making myself sick. I'm surrounded by women who are getting pregnant for the first and second times. I'm so angry with my body for not working like it's supposed to. For not doing the thing that women have been able to do for thousands of years. I feel ashamed and angry and I'm tired of grieving and crying all the damn time. 

    So we're considering IVF. But the problem is that there's evidence to suggest that the IVF process is hell on women with MS. But there's not enough strict studies to give a cause and effect of IVF and MS but like we all know, stress does not do an MS body any good. And of course there's anecdotal evidence by some women who say they've never had a problem with their MS during the IVF process. 

    So my question is this - what helped prompt you to make the leap to do IVF? Did you weigh the risks and benefits? What did you struggle with and how did you over come it?

    Thank you for any insight. 

  • briannakelly
    I have not done IVF but wanted to share my experience with you anyway. I was put on copaxone after being diagnosed with MS which is a category B drug. Which means that it has NOT been shown to cause fetal defects in animal studies but does not have sufficient human studies. Gilenya is a category C drug which means it HAS shown adverse effects in animal studies but also does not have sufficient human studies. Anyway, I was on copaxone until I had a positive pregnancy test at which time I stopped taking the meds. I was taking folic acid and multi vitamins before and during my pregnancy. I have a healthy baby boy. My neuro did suggest that i discontinue the copaxone before trying to get pregnant but I chose not to. I also did not breast feed my son. I bottle fed and went back on copaxone a week after delivery. So, maybe you could talk to your neuro about a less risky drug while you are trying to concieve. I did have a miscarriage about 3 months before I became pregnant with my son. It's devastating and I know how you feel. Especially when your want a baby so bad and it's your first. I don't think it was because of the copaxone though. I was living an unhealthy lifestyle and that pregnancy was somewhat unexpected. But the second time I was more prepared, taking vitamins, quit smoking and drinking long before i became pregnant again. I wish you the best of luck and I feel for you. *hugs