Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in Women

The Women’s Health Clinic at the Brigham Multiple Sclerosis Center, is focused on the issues unique to female patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The program is directed by Dr. Maria Houtchens, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and an experienced MS specialist. Dr. Houtchens helps address and manage the specific concerns of female MS patients, particularly with respect to family planning, infertility, pregnancy management, post-partum and nursing management as well as menopause.

To learn more about MS and pregnancy, read Dr. Houtchen’s article which appeared in MS Progress Notes, a newsletter for health professionals produced by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter.

Frequently Asked Patient Questions

Who would be appropriate for a consultation at the Women's Health Clinic?

  1. MS patients thinking about family planning
  2. MS patients who are currently pregnant
  3. MS patients who have recently delivered
  4. MS patients who are unable to get pregnant due to prior MS-related treatments or other infertility concerns
  5. MS patients who are menopausal (either naturally, or due to prior MS-related treatments)

What would be the focus of an appointment at the Women's Health Clinic?

  1. Discussion of genetic risk
  2. Expectations for MS management in pregnancy with an individualized approach to each case in terms of treatment strategies, time off medications, safety of staying off therapies, etc
  3. Discussion of pregnancy outcomes, lactation issues, post-partum follow-up (MRI, other tests, restart of MS treatments)
  4. MS prognosis post-delivery
  5. Menopause management

Can I continue to see my primary neurologist after this visit?

Yes, it is expected that your long-term MS care will be continued with your MS specialist. You will not need to switch doctors to benefit from this service. You can come for a one-time consultation, or be seen at the Women's Health Clinic until your specific issues have been fully addressed.

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