Reciprocal Effects of Multiple Sclerosis, Childbirth, and Postpartum


1 Neurosciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, which is more prevalent in women than men. Considering the onset of MS in the women of reproductive age, the present study aimed to investigate the reciprocal effects of MS, childbirth, and postpartum.
Methods: This retrospective, descriptive-analytical study was conducted on 110 women diagnosed with MS during pregnancy in Isfahan, Iran during 2016-2017. The subjects had become pregnant within the recent decade and were selected via random sampling. Data on the demographic characteristics, pregnancy and postpartum profile, medicinal changes, symptoms, severity, and attack rates of MS were collected. Data analysis was performed in SPSS version 16.
Results: Mean age at the completion of pregnancy was 38.13 weeks. In total, 63.9% of the deliveries were accomplished via caesarean and 35.1% of the women had natural vaginal delivery. Mean pain intensity at childbirth was 7.11. No symptoms of MS attacks were reported in 86.7% of the subjects during delivery and 90.7% of the women within the first six weeks of childbirth. All the neonates were healthy, and 66.3% of the mothers had no psychological and emotional postpartum complications. In addition, 40.3% of the women started their MS medication within the first six months after childbirth.
Conclusion: According to the results, MS was not associated with the increased risk of preterm or post-term delivery. Moreover, it did not increase the severity of labor pain in the mothers. On the other hand, the rate of elective cesarean section was higher in MS patients compared to the general population, especially in the cases with disabilities. According to the Friedman curve, MS caused no substantial changes in the progression of delivery, and most of the neonates were healthy males with an Apgar score of 10. However, the severity of limb numbness and blurred vision increased in the women with MS in the postpartum period.


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