Ensuring Safe Pregnancy and Postpartum Care for Patients With Multiple Sclerosis: Anna Shah, MD


The assistant professor of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine talked about the importance of addressing family planning with patients with multiple sclerosis. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"At the end of the day, I think all of our goals are the same. We want to help our patients do whatever they want to do for as long as they want to do it, and family planning is a big part of that. We don't know if we don’t ask."

During reproductive years in young adult patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), concerns about family planning as well as MS management related to pregnancy are often discussed in clinical practice. Although pregnancy itself is not harmful for patients with MS, disease-modifying therapies have implications for reproductive planning and managing potential fetal risks. According to recent research, it is suggested that providers and patients with MS engage in collaborative decision-making conversations before, during, and after the pregnancy.1

Anna Shah, MD, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and colleagues presented on contraception and pregnancy related to MS treatment in a workshop given at the 2023 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, May 31 to June 3, in Aurora, Colorado.2 The clinical course focused on considerations for clinicians in modern medicine for their patients with MS, pertaining to pharmacovigilence in the management of the disease.

Recently, Shah sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to discuss how neurologists can effectively approach the conversation of family planning with young patients with MS. She also talked about some of the key considerations for patients with MS who want to get pregnant, especially concerning their MS treatment and potential relapses. Additionally, Shah spoke about how neurologists can help proactively plan for postpartum care and address the increased risk of relapses during breastfeeding for their patients with MS.

Click here for more coverage of CMSC 2023.

1. Carlson AK, Ontaneda D, Rensel MR, Cohen JA, Kunchok A. Reproductive issues and multiple sclerosis: 20 questions. Cleve Clin J Med. 2023;90(4):235-243. Published 2023 Apr 3. doi:10.3949/ccjm.90a.22066
2. Shah A, Bainbridge J, Aragib V, Kidd J. Contraception & Pregnancy, Practical Considerations in the Age of Modern MS Treatment. Presented at: 2023 CMSC Annual Meeting; May 31-June 3; Aurora, CO. CC8.

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