Trying to get pregnant is always exciting and a bit scary. But what if you are battling a chronic disease? Do women who suffer from Systematic Lupus Erythematosus need do anything differently while they are trying to conceive? Do they need to contact their doctors before attempting to have a baby? Does lupus flare up in pregnancy, and if it does, is that dangerous for an unborn baby? There are lots of questions that women with lupus need to ask themselves before getting pregnant, as you can see.
Lupus is a complex auto-immune disease, the cause of which is not clear to medical professionals yet. Certain ethnicities are more prone to developing lupus than others, and there are several risk factors for this condition. The symptoms of Systematic Lupus Erythematosus, also simply known as SLE, its abbreviated form, vary from patient to patient. They can include inflammation of any part of the body, arthritis, skin rash, enlarged lymph nodes, heart and lung problems, and more. It seems apparent that pregnancy, which weakens anyone’s immune system, might pose a threat to those suffering from SLE.
If you suffer from lupus and want to start trying for a baby, telling your treating doctor about it beforehand is advised. You might also want to make an appointment with a high-risk OB (perinatologist) to discuss your specific risks. Lupus does often flare up during pregnancy, but little can be done to predict whether that will be the case for you personally. In fact, there is little conclusive evidence to support that lupus flare-ups during pregnancy have anything to do with the fact that you are expecting a baby. The treatment you will receive if your lupus does flare up might differ significantly while you are gestating your little one, and informing yourself about the available options will save you a lot of hassle if you do experience a flare-up.