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Giving birth 'slows progression' of MS

Giving birth 'slows progression' of MS
25th November 2009

Giving birth may slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) in expectant mothers, according to a new study from researchers in Belgium.

The survey, which was published recently in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, found that women who had given birth to one or more children at any point before or after the start of symptoms were 34 per cent less likely to see their MS progress than childless women.

However, a number of drawbacks to the study have been found by the MS Society, such as how those with severe forms of MS may choose not to get pregnant because of concerns regarding post-natal relapse, and the effects on progression or worries about taking care of a baby during severe relapses.

Dr Susan Kohlhaas, the research communications officer at the MS Society, said: "It is difficult to form any meaningful conclusions from this research given the small size of the study and its flaws, but further studies will hopefully clarify the effects of pregnancy in women with MS."

It follows research from Stanford University, which discovered that women with MS who are pregnant are only slightly more likely to have a caesarean section when giving birth.

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