How does pregnancy affect the course of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Pregnancy alters the immune state, possibly contributing to a change in the course of RA. [137, 138] For decades, the ameliorating effects of pregnancy on disease activity in women with RA have been observed. No specific guidelines address obstetric monitoring in patients with RA.

Because limited available data suggest a significant risk of preterm birth, preeclampsia, or fetal growth restriction in pregnant patients with RA, no special obstetric monitoring is indicated beyond what is performed for usual obstetric care (eg, stabilizing the disease before conception and using drugs safe for pregnancy and lactation). [139]


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