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Myasthenia Gravis

Girlfriend pregnant

11/15/2007

Question:

My girlfriend is pregnant and has myasthenia gravis. She had the thymectomy [I think that`s how you spell it] about 1 1/2 years ago and has been fine ever since. No symptoms have surfaced yet but she can`t be more than 5 wks pregnant. Does MG always resurface during pregnancy? Are there chances of the baby haveing birth defects? Can this pregnancy hurt my girl if the MG does come back? Since the MG seems to be in remissions since the surgery if the MG does come back can it go back in remission? A little about my girlfriend. She had MG the worst you can. She was in ICU for about 3 weeks. She asperated in her lungs so she had to be intubated for 3 days. She lost contol of her tongue and had severe problems swallowing and she had double vision and had problems with all her limbs walking, lifting, standing almost everything she did. So you can see my concern about the pregnancy. Also we both want the baby but not at the risk of her health. Thank you

Answer:

Pregnancy is not contraindicated in women with Myasthenia Gravis (MG). Approximately 1/3 of women have an improvement in their MG during pregnancy, 1/3 have no change in their MG during pregnancy, and 1/3 have a worsening of their MG during pregnancy. The MG itself does not increase the baby's chance of birth defects. If the mother is MG antibody positive, it is possible that the baby may be born with neonatal MG. This is a transient weakness in the baby that usually disappears a few weeks after birth. It occurs in less than 12 percent of babies of women with MG. It is important for women with MG who are pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant to let their obstetrician and the baby's pediatrician know so precautions can be taken.

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Response by:

Catherine  Kernich, MSN, RN, CNP Catherine Kernich, MSN, RN, CNP
Formerly
Case Western Reserve University

Bashar   Katirji, MD, FACP Bashar Katirji, MD, FACP
Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University