Assisted reproductive treatment (ART)



Women with MS who are having difficulty conceiving may benefit from fertility treatments [1]. Indeed, use of ART appears to be rising among women with MS [2-4]. A Finnish study found that 4.9% of women with MS used ART (3/61) during the years 2003 to 2005, compared with 0.9% of women without MS (Medical birth register, n= 55,547) [2]. A more recent evaluation from Spain reported that 14% of women with MS underwent ART (5/39) [3]. Therefore the potential impact of ART is becoming an increasingly relevant consideration for women with MS [2-4].


While there is some concern that ART could increase risk of relapse, data is limited, conflicting and inconclusive [1,4-7]. Even less is known about other factors such as a potential rebound effect after withdrawal of MS therapy, stress associated with infertility, and hormone-induced immunological changes that may also play a role in MS activation [7].


Shortening the time between MS therapy discontinuation and ART, or continuing use of MS therapy such as the injectables during ART may help overcome a potentially increased risk of MS activity following ART [4,6,7].


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