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Open Access Short Report

Multiple sclerosis and pregnancy: what does the patient think? a questionnaire study

Peter Albrecht1*, Dorothea Fischer2 and Andreas Moser1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurology, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck, Germany

2 Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck, Germany

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:91  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-91

Published: 3 April 2010

Abstract

Background

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is primarily a disease of women in their childbearing years. Pregnancy and puerperium have opposite effects on the course of the disease. Nevertheless, no studies have been carried out yet on the level of information among female MS-patients regarding the interaction between MS and pregnancy.

Findings

Demographic data, clinical features of MS, course of MS during pregnancy and puerperium as well as knowledge concerning MS and pregnancy were evaluated by means of a questionnaire in 154 female MS-patients. The level of information was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in women who had been pregnant in the past with the diagnosis MS known at this point of time. Furthermore patients reported about a lower frequency of relapses during pregnancy and a higher frequency of relapses in the first six months after giving birth.

Conclusions

The findings illustrate a lack of knowledge in female MS-patients concerning the interactions of MS and pregnancy. In order to make their own independent decision based on scientific facts known to date, female MS-patients need to be better informed on issues regarding MS and pregnancy.