Lupus and Pregnancy: Risks and Management

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that mainly strikes women during their childbearing years. For many women living with the disease, that means pregnancy will become an issue at some point in their lives.A few decades ago, women with lupus were discouraged from having a family, but now that’s not the case. Most women living with the condition can have successful pregnancies but will need extra attention.

According to the John Hopkins Lupus Center, one of the main risks for women with lupus who wish to start a family is miscarriage. Around 10 percent of lupus pregnancies end in miscarriage, though it’s generally unknown if a miscarriage is lupus-related during the first trimester. (Miscarriage during the first trimester is common for all women.) But as the pregnancy progresses, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome is usually to blame for miscarriage, which is common in women with lupus. Women should be screened before getting pregnant so they can be treated with aspirin and heparin to lower the risk.

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