MONDAY, June 27, 2011 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnancy is generally safe for women with multiple sclerosis, a new study says.
Canadian researchers analyzed 432 births to women with MS and almost 3,000 births to women without MS in the province of British Columbia between 1998 and 2009. They found no significant differences in either timing of delivery or birth weight between babies born to women with MS and babies born to mothers without the illness.
The likelihood of vaginal or caesarian delivery was the same for both groups of women, but mothers with MS who had greater levels of disability had a slightly elevated risk of adverse delivery outcomes. However, the difference was not statistically significant and further research is needed, the study authors said.
"Our finding that MS was not associated with poor pregnancy or birth outcomes should be reassuring to women with MS who are planning to start a family," study author Mia van der Kop, a member of the MS research group at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, said in a journal news release.
Her team noted that women with MS were more often overweight or obese, which is associated with greater risk during pregnancy and birth. These women should ideally lose weight before they become pregnant, the researchers suggested.
The study is published June 27 in the journal Annals of Neurology.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has more about pregnancy and reproductive issues.