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Q&A: Getting pregnant if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

I’m 29, in good health, and have never been pregnant. But there’s one catch: I have rheumatoid arthritis. Will it be difficult for my partner and me to conceive?

Re: I’m 29, in good health, and have never been pregnant. But there’s one catch: I have rheumatoid arthritis. Will it be difficult for my partner and me to conceive?

The Bump Expert

Experts disagree whether rheumatoid arthritis affects fertility, but it’s been proven that women with RA do take longer to conceive. This could be chalked up to the side effects of the disease for women, such as low sex drive, inconsistent ovulation, fatigue, and pain. One thing to be aware of is that the medications you might be on for RA may cause birth defects, so you have to work with your doctor to monitor medication if you’re trying to conceive. The minute you and your partner are ready to start trying for baby, see a rheumatologist. Some medications take a month to two years to wash out of your system before it’s safe to conceive. (By the way, that goes for both men and women being treated for RA.) Your rheumatologist will also work out a treatment plan for you while you’re pregnant -- some patients quit medication cold turkey and others decide to take medication alternatives.

Although some women with RA run a slight risk of miscarriage or giving birth to a low-weight baby, the majority has normal births without complications. Ironically, 70 to 80 percent of women claim that RA symptoms improved during pregnancy. Another thing to know is that you can’t pass on the disease to your fetus. Though RA has a small genetic component, it doesn’t damage the fetus nor does the baby inherit the disease.

Dara Pettinelli

re: Q: Rheumatoid arthritis and TTC?

my grandmother, my aunt a few of my cousins and I all have RA we all had little to no problems ttc but miscarriages do run in our family because of it. And its not completely proven that it can not be inherited

Mrs.Sky_and_Mr.Luke |

re: Q: Rheumatoid arthritis and TTC?

I am 24 years old with ra and just gave birth to a healthy baby boy. i didnt have any problems tryin to concieve. as soon as i found out i went off all meds, and only took predisone if i felt stiff or achy. i went into remission during my pregnancy. i just did pilates ate right and walked a lot. my son is almost a month and im still in remission. so dont stress it!

Jbeerdietz |

re: Q: Rheumatoid arthritis and TTC?

I am 28 and just began TTC with hubby. I also have JRA. I am glad to hear stories of those of you who went into remission during pregnancy. I want to be able to continue exercising once pregnant and worry that my knees won't allow me too. Your words are very encouraging!

berylayn |

re: Q: Rheumatoid arthritis and TTC?

I have RA and am in my 2nd pregnancy. I also have infertility but there is no evidence that it is b/c of the arthritis. I never went into remission for my first pregnancy. So they kept me on prednisone and Humira. I really feel strongly if you have advanced RA and it isn't going into remission that you need to stay on your meds b/c the permanet damage caused by being off of them is life changing. Meds you can't be on are Plaquenil, Methotrexate, and Remicade I know for sure. You also have to get off NSAIDS in your 2nd tri. Enbrel, Prednisone, and Humira though are pretty safe.

*francisca* |

re: Q: Rheumatoid arthritis and TTC?

I'm 21 and I have had RA for 20 of those years and Fibromyalgia for about 2-3 years. I had my daughter three years ago and the biggest way Arthritis affected me was that I had to stop taking my Prednisone and Enbrel. I went into labor 3 months early, though the reason was unkown, and (being that i have polyarticulate RA) all my joints flared up BIG time. I could barely walk most mornings. Though part of this was because i wasnt on meds, this was mostly because of the pregnancy and gaining the weight from the baby. My joints couldnt handle this. My DR said nothing about me being at a higher risk for Miscarraige though...

Mr&MrsTranka |

re: Q: Rheumatoid arthritis and TTC?

Wow, I am glad I found this. DH and I would like to start TTC soon. I've been on Methotrexate for a year and a half, with no difference. At first, my rheumatologist said no big deal, you can have a baby. This last time, he kept skirting the issue when we brought it up, which was really discouraging. My PCP thinks I should look for a new rheumatologist. Thanks for posting this question. Now, I'm more encouraged, and now I will look for a rheumatologist who is more experienced with pregnancies.

Jornsangel |

re: Q: Rheumatoid arthritis and TTC?

I'm glad I found this post! I have lived with RA since I was 3 with it being really bad when I was little. Now that I am 24, I don't notice it as much, I haven't even taken medication for it since I was 10 or so. But I was always worried about passing it and I almost cried when I read that it is not passed on through pregnancy.

marchlove09 |

re: Q: Rheumatoid arthritis and TTC?

Thank you so much for posting to this blog everyone. My husband and I are going to start trying in June and I went off of my arth meds about five weeks ago. It is great to hear the success that some of you have had. :)

Mrs.VV |

re: Q: Rheumatoid arthritis and TTC?

I am 25 and I have RA. I had a miscarriage at the end of Jan. at 6 weeks. Both my OBGYN and my Rheumatologist have checked blood work to make sure that it is not due to the RA that I had the miscarriage/and to make sure it won't cause future problems with preg./getting preg. I am okay! What they were looking for, wasn't there! What they checked for is very, very rare, but it is related to RA when it is found. I am considered a high risk pregnancy, but both doctors say that they expect no problems at this point when we conceive again. BTW, I am 10 days late (but with 2 neg. tests), so we'll see! It's frustrating, I'm late taking my medicine, but don't want to take it if we are expecting. Guess Time will tell.

mrc7sjsc |

re: Q: Rheumatoid arthritis and TTC?

I have PsA, that is part Psoriasis part Arthritis and it doesn't go into remission during pregnancy and both my Rhumy and my OB said Enbrel was fine to take during pregnancy. Not pregnant yet but hopefully soon.

k.wolfe@mac.com |

Q&A: Getting pregnant if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

I am 25 and I have had RA for 24 years. My husband and I are TTC. I was on Enbrel and feeling great. I am now on Prednisone 5mg and in a lot more pain these days. I just got off the pill last month, and I am late. I took a test and was neg. We will see. Has anyone stayed in remission after pregnancy? I am worried about how I am going to take care of the baby, especially in the mornings. At least I have a supportive husband that will help. We hope to be pregnant soon. Good Luck to all of you.

lcd616 |

Q&A: Getting pregnant if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

Hi I am 26 and I have RA. I had my son when I was 24 and the road to getting pregnant was difficult because I was on Metho and Arava so getting off my meds really put my body through some pain plus having to do a washout to get the Arava out of my system was no fun either. But as soon as I was cleared to start trying I had no problem getting pregnant and with the exception of the usual pregnancy symptoms I was fine. Unfortunatley my RA did not stay in remission it actually came back with a vengance two weeks after my son was born but none of that mattered I had my baby and he was HEALTHY! My son is now two and doing just fine.

bbpnknblu07 |

Q&A: Getting pregnant if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

Hi ladies, I'm 26 and was diagnosed with RA about 2 years ago. I was on Methotrexate, Prednisone and sometimes Celebrex. I came off all these meds once my boyfriend and I decided we really wanted to try for a baby. I only took Prednisone when I was having a flare up. Once I changed my diet and started on a regular light exercise regimen (walking, bike riding and swimming) I noticed a significant improvement in pain and swelling. I also tried accupuncture, which helped a little. After a year of trying we are finally pregnant, despite my boyfriend being told he had a low sperm count. We never gave up and were able to overcome the obstacles. We kept track of my ovulations and also used Instead Cups (they haven't been proven as a valid method of conceiving, but all I know is that I started using them and after the 2nd month we were pregnant.) So I'd just like to say good luck to everyone and diet and exercise helps a lot.

jabannatyne |

Q&A: Getting pregnant if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

My partner and I have been trying for a baby for over two years now, We were going to a fertility clinic for about 5 months before somebody told us to contact this spell caster who is so powerful, We contacted him at this email; mokospellcaster@gmail.com , for him to help us, then we told him our problem, he told us that she we either conceive in January 2013 or February 2013,but after two years of trying we were at a point where we were willing to try anything. And I'm glad we came to Dr Moko, Because he predictions put us at ease, and I honestly believe him, and his gods really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done.

Faith222342 |

Q&A: Getting pregnant if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

I am 28 years old with RA and just found out I am pregnant after only four months of TTC. I think there are a lot of horror stories out there and it's hard not to listen to them, but I feel like from what I read, RA has little affect on pregnancy -- at least for me. Good luck!

DeniseHD |

Q&A: Getting pregnant if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

My name is Camille bruno Valdez my partner and I have been trying for a baby for over two years now, We were going to a fertility clinic for about 5 months before somebody told us to contact this spell caster who is so powerful, We contacted him at this email; arewaspecialistttemple@gmail.com , for him to help us, then we told him our problem, he told us that we will either conceive in February 2014 or March 2014,but after two years of trying we were at a point where we were willing to try anything. And I'm glad we came to Dr Dahiru, Because his pregnancy spell cast put us at ease, and I honestly believe him, and his gods really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done. contact him via email: arewaspecialistttemple@gmail.com if you are trying to get a baby or want your lover back. he has powers to do it, he has done mine,

camillebrunovaldez |