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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 150-155

Fertility and pregnancy in systemic sclerosis and other autoimmune rheumatic diseases


Department of Rheumatology, Manipal Hospitals, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Vijay K R Rao
Department of Rheumatology, Manipal Hospitals, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-3698.194550

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Autoimmune rheumatic diseases usually occur in women of childbearing age. In the past, pregnancy in women with autoimmune rheumatic diseases was not considered safe and was discouraged because gestation could worsen maternal disease and vice versa, and the disease could negatively affect the gestational outcome. However, women with rheumatic diseases often wish to have children even when functional disability is present. The great improvement in the systematic approach to pregnancy over the past few decades has allowed an increasing number of affected women to fulfill their family plan. Women should be informed about potential risks related to their disease and also should be reassured that a good pregnancy outcome is possible if conception occurs when they are in a stable remission state, teratogenic medications have been properly withdrawn, and immunosuppressant drugs that are safe in pregnancy have been maintained to prevent disease flare. The interaction of pregnancy and the rheumatic diseases can vary from spontaneous improvement to flare of disease symptoms. Rheumatic diseases differ in regard to the occurrence of complications during pregnancy and to pregnancy outcome. This review describes the maternal course of systemic sclerosis, ankylosing spondylitis, polymyositis and dermatomyositis during pregnancy, fetal outcome, and therapy during pregnancy and postpartum.


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