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Lupus and pregnancy

Lupus is also known as  systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body produces antibodies that mistakenly attack healthy cells throughout the body. Lupus and other autoimmune diseases can cause swelling, pain and organ damage. SLE  usually develops in women of child bearing age and can have an effect on pregnancy.
lupus and pregnancy
The exact cause of SLE  is unknown however, it is believed that genes and viruses my play a role.


What are the symptoms  ?

Some of the symptoms  include the following :

  • muscle pain
  • fever
  • tiredness
  • a characteristic red, butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks
  • chest pain during breathing
  • swollen and painful joints

Symptoms may range from mild to severe with periods of remission and flare ups.


What is the effect of lupus on pregnancy ?

SLE  may cause the following problems during pregnancy.

You are less likely to have pregnancy complications if you’ve been   in remission or had your condition under good control for at least 6 months before pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider if you have SLE and planning to get pregnant.


What is the effect of lupus on your baby ?

Most people with this disease  go on to have healthy babies. However here are some possible pregnancy complications your baby is more likely to face.

  • premature birth
  • neonatal lupus which is a  temporary form of lupus in babies.


Do I need special care during pregnancy ?

Yes, you will be monitored closely by your doctor during pregnancy. This will make it easier for flare ups and health issues to be treated easily during pregnancy. You may be cared for by

  • a high risk obstetrician, a doctor who specializes in taking care of women with serious pregnancy complications
  • a rheumatologist who is a doctor that specializes in disorders having to do with inflammation or pain in muscles and joints


How is lupus treated ?

This autoimmune disease  is treated with different medications. It is important to talk to your health care provider before getting pregnant if you are taking any lupus medication. Some of these medications include :

  • anti inflammatory such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrine® or Advil®) and naproxen (Aleve®) to help relieve joint pain and fever.
  • corticosteroids such as Prednisone (Sterapred®) to help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms
  •  immunosuppressive such as Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®)
  • malaria medications such as Hydoxychloroquine (Plaquenil®) to help prevent flare ups and relieve symptoms such as joint pain and tiredness


Content Sources
Lupus and pregnancy. March of Dimes. Accessed February 19, 2015
Pregnancy and lupus. WebMD. February 19 , 2015.. Accessed February 19,
Lupus and pregnancy. The Johns Hopkins Lupus Center . .Accessed February 19, 2014.

December 3, 2020 | 6:27 31    By oohs N coos    

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