Evaluation and management of systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy

Medha Barbhaiya, Bonnie L. Bermas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Women of childbearing age are at risk for developing systemic rheumatic diseases. Pregnancy can be challenging to manage in patients with rheumatic diseases for a variety of reasons including the impact of physiological and immunological changes of pregnancy on underlying disease activity, the varied presentation of rheumatic disease during pregnancy, and the limited treatment options. Previously, patients with rheumatic disease were often advised against pregnancy due to concerns of increased maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. However, recent advancements in the understanding of the interaction between pregnancy and rheumatic disease have changed how we counsel patients. Patients with rheumatic disease can have successful pregnancy outcomes, particularly when a collaborative approach between the rheumatologist and obstetrician is applied. This review aims to discuss the effect of pregnancy on patients with the most common rheumatic diseases, the effect of these diseases on the pregnancy itself, and the management of these patients during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Fertility
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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