Usually women are all too quick to offer up the inconveniences and physical drawbacks associated with pregnancy. Swollen feet, tight clothes, trouble sleeping, and the list goes on and on.
Well women around the world might have to sing a different tune as the news about pregnancies preventing Multiple Sclerosis spreads.
That's right. New research shows that a woman's risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis, or MS as it is commonly known, decreases significantly with multiple pregnancies. MS is an inflamatory diseases where the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord become damaged.
Past research has proven pregnancy to cause a state of remission in women with MS, that is women who had MS before they ever got pregnant.
But the more recent study, published in the Neurology Journal just over a month ago, suggests that women who have had at least two pregnancies were less likely to develop the disease. And women who have been pregnant at least five times reduce their likelihood of developing MS to only 5%, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
The tribune describes the study as involving about 280 men and women who have been diagnosed with central nervous demyelination, which is a sort of pre-cursor condition to MS but is not yet deserving of an MS diagnosis.
These study subjects were compared with over 500 men and women with no central nervous demyelination. While the study showed impressively positive results for women, the men saw no correlation between number of children and a reduced risk of MS.
Study lead author, Anne-Louise Ponsoby, suggests that the increased rates of Multiple Sclerosis in the past few decades may be a result of the fact that women are having smaller families.
Though it's not entirely clear why pregnancy plays a role in preventing MS, it is likely that hormones are involved. As such researchers are currently looking at estrogen as a potential treatment for MS.Sources
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.