MS does not increase risk of pregnancy complications

A new study has found multiple sclerosis (MS) does not put women at a higher risk of pregnancy complications such as emergency c-section, gestational diabetes, or having a preterm or stillbirth delivery compared to women without the condition.

Danish researchers compared outcomes of 2,930 pregnant women who had MS and were on the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Registry with 56,958 without the condition, all of whom gave birth between 1997 and 2016.

The study found that babies born to mothers with MS were also not more likely to suffer congenital malformations or have a low Apgar score, which reflects a baby’s overall health based on several measured parameters.

Researchers did find that women with MS were 89% more likely to have an elective c-section and 15% more likely to have an induced birth, and that the babies were at a higher risk of being small for their age. The study’s authors said the higher likelihood of elective c-sections and induced births may be due to MS-related symptoms such as fatigue and muscle weakness that might affect the birth.