Each year about 16,000 Americans fall victim to the autoimmune disorder known as lupus. Lupus is regarded as a high risk disease for the pregnant women.
Though most of the women affected with lupus are able to bear and give birth to a child, their pregnancies are prone to a higher risk of complications and hence their pregnancies need to be medically monitored carefully.
Lupus inflames the joints, skin and major organs of the body. It can either be short-lived or permanent and can be mild or severe. Years back women affected with lupus were not recommended to get pregnant due to the high risk of miscarriage and health risks associated with it. But the time has changed and now lupus affected women are encouraged for pregnancy because with proper treatment success rate of such pregnancies is 50%.
People with lupus generally show signs and symptoms that include arthritis, dizziness, stroke, skin rash, mouth ulcers, blood disorders, headaches, light sensitivity, etc. Symptoms like depression, hair loss, and excessive fatigue, swelling of legs and face, digestion problems may also accompany these symptoms.
If you are a woman affected with lupus and wants to be pregnant, carefully plan your pregnancy. Get your disease treated. Lupus should be under control prior to your conception. Becoming pregnant without being treated for lupus could lead to miscarriage, a stillbirth or some other severe complications.
And when you are pregnant an experienced obstetrician along with a rheumatologist should monitor your pregnancy. Your expert may recommend you a cesarean section because he may see that a vaginal birth might not be possible for you.
Pregnant women affected with lupus have an increased rate of stillbirths in their 3rd trimester. This is because of the fact that certain antibodies that are present in their blood disturb their placenta thus hampering the growth of the developing baby. Their pregnancies must be closely monitored and watched to resolve any kind of complications. Pregnant women with lupus can be admitted in a hospital for testing during her entire pregnancy.
Commonly lupus flares do not occur during pregnancy. In those cases where flares develop, they are mild and can be treated simply with corticosteroids. During pregnancy, about 40% of women experience lupus symptom flare ups. A range of medications are available for lupus treatment. Self care for lupus includes proper rest, getting vaccinations, exercise and diet and use of sunscreen.