Strategies to Improve the Care of MS in Women

Patient Communication Tools

Strong and detailed provider/patient communication improves the quality of care for patients with MS. We have developed a series of communication tools specifically for women with MS. These one-page printable documents provide background information, relevance to MS, and resources. The heart of each tool is a checklist to help patients identify and document relevant issues. This checklist can also serve as a working document to help structure health care visits.

Bone Mineral Density Testing/Osteoporosis Risk Screening

Risk of fracture increases with age and can be exacerbated by several aspects of MS. Screening for low bone density is often neglected but this tool provides important information for aging patients.
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Reproductive Health/Family Planning

Women with MS of childbearing age must consider their disease state and their medications when contemplating pregnancy. Get the issues out on the table and get the best medical advice.
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This tool will help women with MS choose the optimal contraception method in collaboration with their health care provider.
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Information about menopause and MS will help patients discuss their symptoms and disease management with their providers.
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Although MS doesn’t seem to impact fertility, treatments for infertility may have a negative effect on MS symptoms. This tool provides the basis for a frank discussion of this issue to enhance reproductive decision making.
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Breastfeeding may be a good option for women with MS but disease state and disease modifying therapies must be considered in the decision.
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Sexual Dysfunction

Although sexual dysfunction is common in women with MS there are both patient and provider barriers to addressing this issue. This overview and checklist of physical and emotional issues will facilitate the patient/provider discussion.
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Optimizing the Office Visit

Identifying and organizing issues important to women with MS makes the best use of limited time available during an office visit. Try it!
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