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Lupus and Pregnancy

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) doesn't typically affect a woman's ability to conceive. But if you are having a lupus flare or are taking corticosteroid medicines, you may have irregular menstrual cycles, making it difficult to plan a pregnancy.

If you plan to have a baby or are already pregnant, it is very important that you and your doctor discuss how lupus may affect your pregnancy.

If you have miscarried before, expect that your pregnancy will be closely monitored. Talk to your doctor about whether you have tested positive for antiphospholipid antibodies. If so, anticoagulant treatment may improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.

Men with lupus should talk with their doctors. Some medicines should be stopped for at least 3 months before a man tries to conceive a baby.

Can I still take my lupus medicines?

You may not be able to stop taking lupus medicines after becoming pregnant, or you may need to start taking medicine for a symptom flare. Some lupus medicines, like acetaminophen and prednisone, are considered safe during pregnancy. Others may not be.


References

Citations

  1. Ruiz-Irastorza G, et al. (2010). Clinical efficacy and side effects of antimalarials in systemic lupus erythematosus: A systematic review. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 69(1): 20–28.

Credits for Lupus and Pregnancy

Current as of: April 30, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Stanford M. Shoor MD - Rheumatology
Nancy Ann Shadick MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology


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