Birth Control

Last Updated: 05/21/14

1. Natural Pregnancy

  • Mom
  • Baby

2. Pregnancy Prevention

  • Birth Control Pills
  • IUD (Intrauterine Device)
    • Progesterone
    • Copper
  • Sterilization (Getting "Tubes Tied")
    • Women: Tubal Ligation
    • Men: Vasectomy

3. Pregnancy Through IVF

  • Advantages
    1. Oocyte Cryopreservation
      (Egg Freezing)
    2. Donors
    3. Genetic Tests
  • Disadvantages
    1. Cost
    2. Increased Tumor Growth
    3. Hormone Treatments
    4. No Guarantees of Conception
    5. Each Embryo is a Baby

4. Additional Alternatives

  • Adoption
  • Foster Care

Other Sourses

Birth control is not just prevention of pregnancy but choosing when or how to become pregnant.

NF2 is an Autosomal Dominant Condition and tumor growth is highest during changes in hormone levels. Because of these things it is important for anyone with NF2 to be aware of different strategies to have children.

The chance a parent will give NF2 to a child is approximately 50%, but depending how a parent was born with NF2 would determine if the chance is lower.

  • a parent with only Unilateral Vestibular Schwannoma is (10% of individuals with NF2 develop VS tumors on only one side); 1 in 12
  • a parent with Bilateral Vestibular Schwannoma and no identifiable NF2 mutation in blood; 1 in 8
  • a Mosaic parent with NF2 transmitting the disease to their offspring when mutation cannot be identified; 34%
  • all other cases of NF2 the rate is: 50%

Some options are listed below:

1. Natural Pregnancy

With Natural Pregnancy this option puts both baby and mother at risks.

1.1. Mom

For mom during pregnancy the hemodynamic changes, also known as blood flow changes, from pregnancy to support the physical needs of the baby, can result in tumor growth. It simply increases tumor growth rate which for some mothers might not be a problem but for others could be much worse.[Wiemels, 2010]

1.2. Baby

The baby has the 50% chance of birth with NF2 and while location of tumors and other NF2 issues are typically the same, the baby could have a more severe case than its mother.

2. Pregnancy Prevention

2.1. Birth Control Pills

There is a debate that hormones effect tumor growth and while there are some newer lower dose hormone pills available, this still may not be safe.


2.2. IUD (Intrauterine Device)

An IUD (Intrauterine Device), is a simple T Shaped device that can be easily implanted and removed by a doctor during a regular gynecological exam. It blocks sperm from reaching eggs. It is available in Progesterone and Copper.

  • Progesterone: Progesterone is the most commonly used IUD's by gynecologist's However, this uses hormones which may not be safe for people with NF2.
  • Copper: Copper is a safer NF2 IUD choice since no hormones are required for it to work. Unfortunately, insurance companies rarely cover the cost of Copper IUD's.

2.3. Sterilization (Getting "Tubes Tied")

Having Tubes Tied is a permanent means of child prevention. It is important to understand that attempting to have a reversal later is possible, but does not always work.

  • Women: Tubal Ligation
  • Men: Vasectomy

3. IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), is assisted reproductive technology (ART) that allows an embryo to be implanted for conception.

3.1. Advantages:

  1. Oocyte Cryopreservation (Egg Freezing): Women are born with a certain number of eggs. Therefore every medication taken can also affect eggs. Chemotherapy type medications are known to cause a problem for pregnancies later. Having eggs removed prior to these treatments for later implantation can prevent damage to them.

  2. Donors: Option of either egg or sperm donor.

  3. Genetic Tests: PGD (Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis), a genetic test before replantation an egg as an embryo. Not every location that does IVF does PGD. Many locations for IVF are to help women who have difficulty with natural conception.

3.2. Disadvantages:

  1. Increased Hormone Level Treatments: The first step in IVF is that a women are given an increased dose of hormones to produce multiple eggs at the same time. This alone and not just the pregnancy might be dangerous to a women with NF2. [Wiemels, 2010]

  2. Cost: This is very expensive and is not covered by insurance.

  3. Pregnancy and Chance of Increased Tumor Growth: November 2012 a study report confirmed that there is 'Dramatic Growth' of Meningiomas in Pregnant Woman, each tumor and each woman might experience different amounts of increased growth, but there is a definite link. This may also affect other tumor types as well.

  4. No Guarantees of Conception: Implanting one embryo might not result in pregnancy; therefore multiple embryos need to be implanted.

  5. Each Embryo Implanted is a Potential Baby: Any number of implanted embryos can live. A choice would need to be made of how many to keep and how many to abort.

4. Reference Sources

  1. n.p. (2012, November 24). "Blood Flow Changes, Not Hormones, Explain Growth Of Benign Tumors In Pregnant Women." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/253111.php

  2. Wiemels, J., Wrensch, M., & Claus, E. B. (2010). Epidemiology and etiology of meningioma. Journal of neuro-oncology, 99(3), 307-314. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11060-010-0386-3#page-1



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