University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Experiences and perspectives of pregnancy in women with multiple sclerosis


Pebdani R*, Johnson K, Amtmann D, Bamer A, Wundes A



Publication Info:

Sexuality and Disability, 33(1):47-52


Research on pregnancy for women with multiple sclerosis (MS) primarily focuses on medical aspects of pregnancy, and personal perspectives are often ignored. This paper explores pregnancy in women with MS by reporting on fertility, pregnancies, family planning, and identifying where they get information about pregnancy and MS. Data from 391 women with MS who responded to a paper and pencil survey are presented using descriptive statistics. Over half of the sample had children, and 14.2 % of the sample became pregnant after their MS diagnosis. Many of these women did not discuss pregnancy or breastfeeding with their physicians or healthcare providers. One-third of women reported that their first pregnancy after their MS diagnosis changed their attitude about future pregnancies. Finally, the most common source of information about MS and pregnancy was specialists (i.e. neurologists or MS physicians). The results of this study can inform individuals who work with women with MS on how to improve services and communication with their patients of childbearing age who may be concerned about pregnancy.

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