Top 10 Series: Lupus and Pregnancy

1. Is it possible for lupus patients to have a successful pregnancy?

Many lupus patients can have a successful pregnancy. To increase your chance of a successful pregnancy, it is essential to seek advice regarding the right time to conceive and to educate yourself about ways in which you can optimize the pregnancy outcomes.

Lupus patients are more likely to develop pregnancy complications compared to the general population. Thus, it is important to consult your rheumatologist and an obstetrician experienced in managing high-risk pregnancies prior to becoming pregnant. Additionally, you should plan your delivery at a hospital that has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as well as other advanced facilities to provide the specialized care that you and your baby may require.

Apart from the medical aspects, it is also important that you discuss your pregnancy plans with your partner or close family members. Pregnancy and a newborn often demand changes in your personal and professional life; seeking timely support from family and friends makes it easier to cope with these changes.

2. When is it the right time to conceive and what should you do after becoming pregnant?

The right time to conceive is when the lupus disease activity is fully under control and you are in your best health. The healthier you are before your pregnancy, the greater are your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. It is strongly recommended that you avoid pregnancy until at least six months after the lupus disease activity, especially kidney disease, has been completely brought under control.[1] Pregnancy places an added burden on your kidneys and active kidney disease can even lead to pregnancy loss.

After your pregnancy test is positive, you should visit your rheumatologist and obstetrician at your soonest possible convenience. The purpose of these visits is to assess the state of your health and lupus disease activity by means of a complete physical examination and blood tests.

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