Can fertility treatment affect MS? A new study

Published: 27 October 2022

Women having fertility treatment do not have a significantly increased risk of relapse with multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study has found.

The US-based analysis, which was presented at the 38th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), found that even women who underwent treatments associated with greater levels of hormone exposure were not at a statistically significant increased risk.

The factors associated with the lowest relapse risk in the three months following treatment were longer MS duration, older age and use of disease-modifying treatments (DMTs).

Previously, five small studies found that in vitro fertilisation (IVF) raised relapse risk between two and seven times. But as more recent and larger study found no greater risk for IVF and MS.

The researchers said fertility treatment practices have shifted in recent years, including safer hormone therapies being used and more DMTs being used during fertility treatment.