Lupus And Pregnancy

Pregnancy in individuals suffering from lupus can have immense impact on the mother as well as the fetus. In lupus and pregnancy, around 10% of the pregnancy cases can end up being miscarried because of the problems associated with lupus. Any loss that is seen to occur in the first trimester period may be either because of no cause in particular or because of an active lupus.

These days with proper medical care a lupus pregnancy can be carried the complete term and a healthy baby can be delivered. In order to increase the chances of delivering a healthy child it is important that the pregnancy is carefully planned. It is important to ensure that the disease is either under control or in remission before the conception. Getting pregnant while the disease is active can cause stillbirth, miscarriage and other serious problems.

lupus and pregnancy should also be monitored by an obstetrician who is experienced in managing such high risk pregnancies. The delivery of a pregnancy in such a case should be undertaken at a hospital that has sufficient experience in managing high risk patients. This will ensure that all the required specialized care is provided for the mother and the child.

In lupus and pregnancy, a vaginal birth may not be a possibility and often caesarean section is advised. Often pregnant women suffering from lupus tend to develop lupus flare. Such flares develop in the first or the second trimester or the first few months that follow the pregnancy and these flares can be treated with mild doses of corticosteroids.

In a lupus pregnancy the baby born is perfectly healthy in most cases and women with lupus do not have greater chance of delivering babies with any retardation or birth defects. Regular progress of the child and the mother will be assessed by the doctors during the pregnancy period. It is important to understand that in case of pregnancies that are not properly planned as many as 70% of these pregnancies end up in miscarriages. Also around 30% of these unplanned pregnancies result in premature births.

Women who are pregnant and suffering from lupus should completely avoid anti malarial drugs which may be used at times to manage the problems associated with lupus. Some drugs that are non steroidal in nature along with some anti inflammatory medicines can be taken in lupus and pregnancy under the guidance of a doctor. As many as 20 percent pregnant women with lupus experience pre eclampsia and the symptoms of this include high excretion of protein through the urine along with high blood pressure. It is ideal for women with lupus to plan a pregnancy and conceive when there are no symptoms of lupus for at least six months before conception.

In some women with anti SSA and anti Ro antibodies symptoms similar to lupus may be observed in the baby when it is born and this is called neonatal lupus. The symptoms of this problem may include unusual blood count, skin rash and irregular heartbeat. These symptoms are ordinarily resolved by the third or sixth month after the child’s birth.