Expert opinion on the use of contraception in people with multiple sclerosis

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Background: Current guidance on the selection of appropriate contraception for people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) is lacking. Objective: To address this gap, an expert-led consensus program developed recommendations to support clinicians in discussing family planning and contraception with women and men with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: A multidisciplinary steering committee (SC) of 13 international clinical experts led the program, supported by an extended faculty of 32 experts representing 18 countries. A modified Delphi methodology was used for decision-making and consensus-building. The SC drafted 15 clinical questions focused on patient-centered care, selection of contraception, and timing of stopping/starting contraception and disease-modifying therapies (DMTs). Statements addressing each question were drafted based on evaluation of published evidence and the experts’ clinical experience. Consensus was reached if ⩾75% of respondents agreed (scoring 7–9 on a 9-point scale) with each recommendation. Results: Consensus was reached on 24 of 25 proposed recommendations, including how and when to discuss contraception, types and safety of contraceptives, and how to evaluate the most appropriate contraceptive options for specific patient groups, including those with significant disability or being treated with DMTs. Conclusion: These expert recommendations provide the first practical, relevant, and comprehensive guidance for clinicians on the selection of contraception in PwMS.