Every time a study regarding rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is concerned, it has been observed that women who have RA are at an increased risk when giving birth. Both the mother and the child face risks and similar symptoms follow even after birth. Let us study how rheumatoid arthritis affects family planning and how to overcome it for a successful pregnancy.
Rheumatoid Arthritis During Pregnancy its Causes and Treatment:
Basically, rheumatoid arthritis happens to be an autoimmune condition, which implies that the body’s immunity keeps attacking itself. There is no known reason or remedy behind RA. It is caused when the antibodies in your immune system attacks the healthy tissues in the lining of the joints causing them to swell up and lose alignment.
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Can I Have Children:
When you are trying to get pregnant with RA, the main concern for you becomes if your pregnancy will be affected and end up in miscarriage. RA being an autoimmune disease, many women were asked to avoid pregnancy, since the body gets even more alerted and it might put the mother’s life in danger.
It May Be Harder to Get Pregnant:
Studies have shown that women with rheumatoid arthritis find it harder to conceive. Only about 25% of the women with RA became pregnant after trying for a year, whereas the name ratio is 15% for women without rheumatoid arthritis. The causes for this might be unknown but it is presumed that it has something to do with the medications that the woman takes.
Even though it is harder to get pregnant, once you are pregnant, there is nothing to worry about. I fact, your flare ups can be significantly reduced if governed well.
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Since pregnancy is a time of changes, there is a chance that your pregnancy may trigger RA, however, it should go away on its own. The risk of preeclampsia is high and disorders in the baby are quite common, especially in cases where checkpoints weren’t established to see if the baby was still in good health. Premature baby delivery and low birth weight of the child when born has been recorded as other risks when RA and pregnancy are combined in a woman.
Of course, being an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis has no cure, however, the doctors and physicians ensure that there is constant monitoring to keep up with the hormonal changes in the woman’s body, thus ensuring that nothing leads the immune system on.
Medications May Increase Risks:
Often, medications that are prescribed for treatment lead to an increased risk and complication with the pregnancy. Disease modifying drugs in particular, can be toxic even though the area of risk is limited. It should sound wise to talk to your doctor if you wish to become pregnant. Weigh out the benefits and risks and decide if you are determined for the same.
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So, prenatal care is all there is to a pregnancy for a woman with rheumatoid arthritis. Medications could make matters worse with their side effects and hence aren’t recommended. The only rational treatment includes prenatal care for a healthy delivery. It might be a long wait, but if you are determined to have a child, consult your doctor and you should be fine if taken good care of. The risks that exist for women with RA isn’t anything over the top and hence shouldn’t stop you from having children. The only important thing would be to get frequent checkups to ensure everything is in place.