Lupus and Pregnancy

Lupus and pregnancy coexist. Women with lupus can bear children but care must be taken because the risks of complications are up for pregnant women with lupus.

Can lupus and pregnancy be risky? The risk of developing cardiovascular disease is high when you are pregnant and have lupus.

If you have been diagnosed with lupus and desiring to be pregnant, you are at high risks. Pregnant women can be affected by diseases like German measles but some may also be prone to autoimmune diseases and one example is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or lupus.

Women with lupus can bear children but care must be taken because the risks of complications are up for pregnant women with lupus.  For safe pregnancy, it is important that a woman has no lupus symptoms and has taken no medications for at least six months prior to conception. Otherwise, lupus and pregnancy will be an issue for the mother and child.

Lupus is common to appear in women who are still able to bear kids. This is the reason why lupus and pregnancy are related. As a woman, your body produces antibodies that attack your own healthy cells and in the process cause tissues to swell or inflame.

Any part of your body such as joints, skin or internal organs may be affected. Lupus can be mild or life threatening depending on the sites affected and the severity of the lupus symptoms.

If you are pregnant, it is imperative that you talk with your doctor about your condition. It cannot be prevented that lupus and pregnancy really can coexist. You can make important changes to your medication to ensure a safe pregnancy.

A safe pregnancy is having lupus well-controlled during conception. Pregnant women may fear having renal biopsy; however, study shows that renal biopsy can provide the needed information for pregnant lupus patients  who may develop proteinuria and hematuria.

Risks of Lupus in Pregnancy

There are certain problems that a pregnant woman will expect as a consequence of having lupus during pregnancy such as :

  • Birth defects due to some medications
  • Lupus flares during conception and after delivery
  • Hypertension and increased protein content in urine leading to pre-eclampsia
  • Hospital admission at different stages throughout the pregnancy may be possible
  • Premature delivery
  • Miscarriage is high risk for women with lupus
  • Neonatal lupus characterized by low birth weight
  • Medical care is important before and throughout the period of pregnancy

If you’re planning to get pregnant but with lupus, discuss with your treating specialist before you conceive to advise you of the best time to be pregnant. Your doctor can relay to you the particular risks you may face and whether your medications need to be replaced.

Some medicines taken for lupus can penetrate the placenta and may be a threat to your baby. It is important to contact your treating doctor in case your treatment needs to be changed or further tests are required when pregnant.  

Necessary antenatal care is vital in order to anticipate, deter and eliminate any problems that may occur. A close monitoring of the growth rate of the baby is important to ensure that all is well. Consultation with both a rheumatologist and a specialist obstetrician throughout your pregnancy is needed.

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