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Fertility treatments don't affect MS

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Fertility treatments don't affect MS

Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) are no more likely to experience exacerbations after receiving fertility treatment than they were before, according to a new study. 

“These results are exciting as MS is common among females of childbearing age and those with MS are more likely to be diagnosed with infertility but have been less likely to receive fertility treatment than those who do not have MS,” said study author Dr Edith Graham from Northwestern University in Chicago.

Fifty-six women had diagnosed MS and nine had clinically isolated syndrome, the first MS episode. Participants underwent 124 cycles of fertility treatment at an average age of 36.5 years. Forty-three per cent received MS disease-modifying therapy during fertility treatment. No increase emerged in the relapse rate after fertility treatments that included in vitro fertilisation, egg banking, embryo transfer and intrauterine insemination.

Earlier studies reported conflicting results. “Fertility treatments for people with MS are not as risky as we once thought,” Dr Graham said.

“We did not see many relapses in our cohort, probably due to the fact that most of the patients were treated with disease-modifying therapies in the year prior. We hope our findings provide reassurance that these treatments are not associated with elevated risk of relapses.” (Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2023; 10:e200106)

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