Women with autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis may change their course of pregnancy, and women with rheumatoid arthritis may experience high-risk pregnancies if they become pregnant before their illness is controlled. Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to high-risk pregnancies.
What our doctors will discuss below is the answer to your frequently asked question:
Does your rheumatoid arthritis cause high risk pregnancy?
Our doctors will introduce you the need to control rheumatoid arthritis before getting pregnant.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. In this group of diseases, the immune system of a person with the disease mistakenly recognizes and destroys healthy and normal tissues of the body as foreign.
Rheumatoid arthritis is three times more common among women than men, and most women develop rheumatoid arthritis at the reproductive age of the twenties and thirties.
The question for most of these women is, can they get pregnant despite having rheumatoid arthritis?
Does rheumatoid arthritis harm their baby during pregnancy?
Are they more likely to experience a high-risk pregnancy with rheumatoid arthritis?
However, due to pain, fatigue due to inflammatory reactions and drug side effects, you should plan in principle and under the supervision of a doctor to try to conceive. But in general, women with rheumatoid arthritis can get pregnant just like any other woman.
Why should you get pregnant under a doctor?
Many of the medications you take to control rheumatoid arthritis can be harmful to your fetus during pregnancy. Some of these medications can cause birth defects if continued during pregnancy, and some medications may cause miscarriage.
Therefore, it is very important that you control your rheumatoid arthritis before trying to conceive, and consult your doctor seriously before pregnancy so that you can have a pregnancy with minimal problems.
Read the opinions of our doctors below.
Why are pregnancies of women with rheumatoid arthritis high risk?
The first issue that causes pregnancy risks in women with rheumatoid arthritis is the side effects of their medications:
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, it is necessary to consult a doctor about how to continue treatment, stop taking complicated drugs, etc. before trying to conceive.
A number of medications used in rheumatoid arthritis may cause fetal abnormalities.
Below is a list of medications you should stop before you become pregnant:
It is one of the most common treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. It can cause miscarriage or cause serious defects in the fetus.
Methotrexate should be discontinued three to four months before you become pregnant; in other words, if you want to become pregnant, you should discontinue methotrexate for at least three cycles before attempting to conceive.
It is a drug that can stay in the body for a long time. This drug is associated with serious fetal defects, so it is necessary to discontinue this drug two years before pregnancy.
What is the process of rheumatoid arthritis in pregnancy?
In most women with rheumatoid arthritis who become pregnant after their illness is controlled, their disease activity decreases during pregnancy, and in some women, the disease may flare up during pregnancy.
Reputable studies show that about 50% of women with rheumatoid arthritis who become pregnant after controlling their illness experience low morbidity during pregnancy.
Twenty to forty percent of these patients resolve by the third trimester of pregnancy
Approximately only about 20% of cases of rheumatoid arthritis flare up during pregnancy are moderate to severe and require more serious treatment.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict who will develop flare-ups and severe rheumatoid arthritis. It is interesting to know that as the pregnancy progresses and the amount of fetal DNA in the mother’s bloodstream increases, the activity of rheumatoid arthritis also decreases.
Dangerous drugs in pregnancy
These days, there are new drugs called biological modifiers that are used to control rheumatoid arthritis, because studies on the effects of these drugs on pregnant women and fetuses are very few, so it is necessary to avoid using them during pregnancy.
Some medications can raise a pregnant woman’s blood sugar and blood pressure and increase pregnancy complications. For example, taking corticosteroids during pregnancy can lead to premature amniotic sac, reduced intrauterine growth, or weight loss in your baby.
If you are being treated with methotrexate, loflunamide and biologics, you must use a safe contraceptive method during use.
Symptoms similar to normal pregnancy and rheumatoid arthritis
Some common problems in pregnant women can be similar to the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:
- Pain in the lower back
- joint’s pain
- Pain in one or both hands (carpal tunnel syndrome is common in healthy pregnant women)
Is rheumatoid arthritis transmitted from mother to fetus?
Another important point that women with rheumatoid arthritis may be concerned about is the possibility of transmitting RA to their fetus.
It is true that your baby may develop rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune diseases during his or her lifetime, but keep in mind that a large number of women with rheumatoid arthritis have a healthy pregnancy and have perfectly normal children.
Activation of rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy
Rheumatoid arthritis activity will decrease in about 60% of pregnant women, and about 47% of postpartum women may develop a flare-up of the disease, which occurs more often when they experience their first pregnancy.
The effect of rheumatoid arthritis on the delivery process
If you have recently had inflammation, arthritis and joint injuries of the lumbar spine and pelvis during your illness, and if these inflammations have caused deformity in these areas, you will not be able to give birth normally, otherwise there is pain in the back and pelvis in general. It will not be a barrier to a normal delivery alone.
Studies have shown that the more symptoms during pregnancy, the higher the risk of low birth weight, preterm delivery and the need for cesarean section.
Postpartum complications in women with rheumatoid arthritis
After childbirth, women with rheumatoid arthritis may be more tired than usual. This complication causes these mothers to need help and support more than other women.
After childbirth, about forty-seven percent of mothers, especially mothers who have given birth to their first child, will develop rheumatoid arthritis flare up in the first trimester. It is very difficult to say whether breastfeeding plays a role in flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis.
However, it is never recommended to stop breastfeeding, all contraindicated drugs during pregnancy are also contraindicated in breastfeeding.
What are the problems of babies born to mothers with rheumatoid arthritis?
Most studies say that if all the points are followed, there will be no increase in infant mortality or an increase in abortion.
If you have a history of rheumatoid arthritis, it does not mean that you are deprived of having a healthy child, in other words, there is no reason why your child is 100% autoimmune.