If you have been diagnosed with a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) and want to start a family it’s important to plan ahead with your haematologist.
If possible, it is best to plan with your haematologist and GP or obstetrician BEFORE becoming pregnant.
If you have been taking aspirin only
Even if you are not taking medications other than aspirin, talk to your haematologist about your plans to become pregnant. If you are currently taking aspirin only, or you are being treated with aspirin together with phlebotomy, you can usually stay on this same treatment plan while you are trying for a child, this applies to both men and women.
If you have been taking cytoreductive drugs
If you are taking drugs such as hydroxycarbamide or anagrelide to control your MPN, we recommend that you ask your haematologist for a different treatment plan and that you discuss whether you should stop taking these drugs for at least six months before becoming pregnant or fathering a child. This is because hydroxycarbamide and anagrelide are drugs that can interfere with fetal development.
Safer choices for pregnancy
Safer treatment choices during pregnancy include aspirin and interferon, plus heparin injections if needed. Your haematologist can work with you to develop a plan to taper off cytoreductive drugs and gradually become adjusted to interferon if you need treatment. It is important to plan in advance and allow your body to adjust, without rushing. You may not need medication because your blood volume will increase during pregnancy. Your haematologist can advise you on the best choices for you.