Why Adequate Contraception Is Important For People With Autoimmune Diseases

A 2022 study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine reiterates that women are at higher risk of developing autoimmune diseases. The study further finds that over 4,230 mothers out of a total of 477,243 births in New South Wales, Australia had at least one autoimmune disease during pregnancy.

According to WebMD, the most common autoimmune diseases in pregnant women include lupus, multiple sclerosis, systemic scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, and myasthenia gravis. Lupus increases the risk of fetal death or premature labor, while the effects of rheumatoid arthritis on the lower spine and hip joints can be painful. Still, pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may see an improvement in their symptoms in the second and third trimesters.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society states that pregnant women living with multiple sclerosis may experience increased symptoms such as fatigue and bladder problems, with mobility problems worsening as the baby gets heavier. Medical News Today also warns that MS can damage the pelvic muscles and nerves, making it harder to push babies out naturally. Pregnant women with MS may need an assisted delivery or caesarean section (C-section).

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