Pregnant with Rheumatoid Arthritis – Can I get pregnant, even if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Pregnant despite of Rheumatoid Arthritis? Young people often have to ask themselves whether rheumatism affects their family planning or whether they have to plan their lives completely without children. The good news is: Pregnant with Rheumatoid Arthritis is possible! There is almost always a way to have kids – if you wish to be a parent – and the disease does not have to stand in the way of having a family! However, it is important to follow certain rules and to choose your medication carefully.
Any young woman who is diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis will ask herself sooner or later whether the disease – or even its medication – could possibly influence the family planning. Of course, these thoughts are particularly acute in women, but men are also affected. Because when taking certain medications caution is required of both parties if it comes to family planning. No matter which of the partners is affected by rheumatism and takes the medication: some medicines should be discontinued for at least three to six months (please ask your doctor) before starting with the actual family planning. Then, pregnant with Rheumatoid Arthritis should not be a problem.
Pregnant with Rheumatoid Arthritis – Pick the right kind of medication!
When I learned in my early twenties that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis, family planning was not an issue, but I had to think it over anyhow when it came to choosing a suitable medication. For me it was clear that I would not take medication, which would limit family planning in the long-term or which could cause great harm to the unborn child.
That’s why I’ve studied all the possibilities and I am sure that my never ending questions did test my rheumatologists patience quite a bit. But even back then it was very important to me to make sure I keep all my options.
In retrospect, I am glad that I have decided to do so, because when we found out two years ago that we were expecting our little one, I didn´t have to worry about possible harmful side effects. Even though I had already reduced my medication – through diet, exercise and a positive attitude towards life, in short, through my Rheuma Optimist Lifestyle – and reduce them to almost zero, I was glad that they could not really have a negative influence.
Please do not get me wrong: Of course it would be better to take no medication at all during a pregnancy. But these universal statements are the ideal, especially for those who do not suffer from an inflammatory autoimmune disease such as rheumatism. After all, the prerequisite for pregnancy is a body that does not have to suffer from acute inflammation and with which one can reasonably move around.
Anyone who remembers his or her recent acute rheumatism episode – or maybe just experienced one – knows exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes, in such a state, it seems impossible to just move and, so to speak, “carry around“ oneself – let alone carrying a baby for nine months. After all, even healthy people get a lot of back pain and other ailments due to pregnancy.
Pregnant with Rheumatoid Arthritis – Plan ahead of time!
That’s why it is even more important for us to find a medication whose impact on family planning is “as low as possible”. We have options and can choose and try out the best one for us.
But do not worry, even if the disease requires medication with a drug that can not be reconciled with family planning, there is always the possibility of switching to a more tolerable drug for a period of time. The rheumatologist is your most important contact person for these questions. It is always important to think ahead and to discuss the desire to have children in good time with the doctor, so that the medication can be adjusted accordingly.
The upside is, that women with rheumatism – as I can tell from myself and those I personally know – often have very little discomfort during pregnancy, in relation to every-day-life. The disease itself is often in regression as the body’s cortisol level increases during pregnancy and the pain disappears. Since we already have a fairly high pain threshold, the usual pregnancy symptoms can hardly affect us – I, for example, was able to do completely without medication during pregnancy.
Pregnant with Rheumatoid Arthritis – It´s worth it!
Of course, there are a lot of things to keep in mind during pregnancy, and we may find it a little harder than people who are completely healthy – but working towards and experiencing pregnancy, and of course our little babies, make up for all the effort.
In another blogpost I will talk about what´s important for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis regarding the diet during pregnancy or which foods can be included in the rheumatism diet if you want to have children. So check in again or sign up for the newsletter.
See you then!