Lupus is a disease where the immune system becomes over-active. It is a chronic disease which affects one or many tissues of the body; skin, joints, muscles, blood vessels, blood cells, brain and nerves etc. Inflammatory and immune responses account for many of the symptoms observed in lupus.
Lupus does not reduce a woman’s chances of getting pregnant
Less than 50% of pregnancies in women with lupus have complications, but all lupus pregnancies are considered high-risk.
It can cause complications in pregnancy with an increased risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, and pre-eclampsia, as well as heart problems in the baby. If you are considering having a baby, consider these tips to ensure a safe pregnancy and healthy baby.
Before you get pregnant:
- Assemble your lupus health care team.
- Prior to getting pregnant, women with lupus should meet with a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases like lupus,
- a perinatologist or high-risk obstetrician
- and a pediatric cardiologist.
“Preconception counseling allows women to discuss their personal health with their doctor to assess risks based on how lupus has affected her so far. Not all women are the same, so it is important to know what your lupus means for your pregnancy.”
Larry Matsumoto, MD, maternal fetal specialist at Atlanta Perinatal Consultants.
Some pregnancies will require treatments early on. These treatments counteract risks of complications and should begin within the first few weeks of pregnancy for best results.
The risk of complications is greater if you are having a lupus flare, so it’s important to work with your doctor.
What is Lupus?
It’s an incurable immune system illness, probably genetic in origin and mainly suffered by females. It can affect any part of the body and that’s the danger.
World Lupus Day
What are the symptoms to look out for
The two major symptoms, joint and muscle pain and an extreme tiredness that won’t go away no matter how much you rest.
Rashes, depression, anaemia, feverishness, headaches, possible hair loss and mouth ulcers may all be part of the pattern of lupus.
Noticeably, whilst the two major symptoms are invariably present, people with lupus can differ greatly in their symptoms and how the illness can affect them – life-threatening for a few, very mild for some. Miscarriage, often recurrent, is another unhappy complication.
One of the main triggers of lupus is hormonal activity and change, and can often trigger after childbirth, at the menopause or during puberty and usually between the ages of 15 and 55.
An Invisible Monster
Visit lupusuk.org.uk for more information, and fundraising opportunities.