Planning to have a baby is an important milestone in the life of a woman and you will have some common questions in your mind like, will I have morning sickness? Should I have natural childbirth? But if you are suffering from rheumatology diseases, you will have some more questions like will the disease affect the development of my baby? Will rheumatoid arthritis affect my delivery? Can the rheumatism medications affect the growth of the baby and so on.
In most cases, the answers can be much reassuring. Some of the important things that you should know about rheumatism treatment and pregnancy are discussed below.
RA And Planning For Pregnancy
Studies show that some women with rheumatoid arthritis have more difficulty conceiving when compared to women without the disease. For a woman suffering from rheumatology diseases, it is important to have pre-pregnancy planning and it should involve the rheumatologist and the gynecologist.
Many women who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and have it well controlled have healthy pregnancies than women who have active diseases during pregnancy. Therefore, it will be ideal to have RA controlled for three to six months before trying to be pregnant. This is because women with uncontrolled RA can have an increased risk of complications like preterm birth and smaller babies.
RA Medication Effects On Baby
RA is typically controlled by disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and you need to ensure that you have safe DMARD use before and during pregnancy. Understand that not all DMARDs are safe. For instance, medications like methotrexate should be stopped before pregnancy. Methotrexate should be discontinued before at least three months of pregnancy. This is because this medication used in rheumatism treatment has the potential to cause birth defects. Moreover, you need to discuss the other medications and the benefits and risks should be analyzed.
RA Activity During Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, controlling rheumatoid arthritis could be easier. As per the review of studies conducted on pregnant RA patients, the disease activity improved in about sixty percent of the pregnant patients and activity flared in 46.7% of the patients after delivery. Healthcare professionals believe that the changes in the immune system and hormonal changes during pregnancy can be beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis.
These are some of the important things that you should know about rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy. For most women with rheumatoid arthritis, a healthy pregnancy is possible.