Myositis and pregnancy

One of the most common topics of concern for the women in our support groups involves pregnancy. People want to know the effects of Myositis on pregnancy, if Myositis affects a patient’s ability to conceive and what effects pregnancy has on Myositis.

For this Tip Tuesday we want to reassure you that, yes, women with Myositis do indeed successfully conceive and carry their children to term with healthy pregnancies. However, it might take a little more forethought and care during the pregnancy than a typical woman.

Autoimmune diseases carry some risks associated with pregnancy, both to mother and baby. It is highly advisable that all women with Myositis, whether in active disease process or in remission, consider having a pre-conception consultation with a High Risk Prenatal Obstetrician and also arrange a conference/consult for them with the doctor managing your Myositis.

Here are some considerations that your doctors may discuss with you:

  • Some medications are absolutely contraindicated during pregnancy, some are limited to the final trimester, and some are cautiously allowed throughout.
  • Depending on the time it takes for a medication to be processed out of your body, some time may be required between discontinuing a medication and conception.
  • Some doctors recommend that a woman be in remission for a certain period of time before conceiving while others are not so strict and look toward a more relative view of healthfulness.
  • Often, there is more frequent fetal monitoring to catch problems before they happen or immediately when they start. The side benefit to this is that you will possibly get to see (sonogram) and hear (Doppler) your baby more often! This allows the doctor to start treatment very quickly in the event of fetal distress.
  • High-risk may mean more cautious and careful in your every day life as staying healthy and carrying the baby safely to term becomes your priority.

If you find yourself in the unexpected situation of being pregnant without planning ahead, please do not fear! You can take control by immediately getting an appointment with a High Risk Prenatal Obstetrician.

Either way, we urge you to make informed choices by getting all the facts from your healthcare providers so you have the best chance at a happy, healthy and successful pregnancy!

More information can be found at: https://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/pregnancy.asp

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Emily A. Filmore is an author, speaker, and is one of the founding members of Myositis Support and Understanding Association. She wrote "The Marvelous Transformation: Living Well with Autoimmune Disease" about her experiences with dermatomyositis and other chronic illness (Central Recovery Press 2015), the "With My Child" series of children's books about family bonding (Withmychildseries.com), and is the co-author of "Conversations with God for Parents" with Neale Donald Walsch and Laurie Lankins Farley and was released in 2015. (Rainbow Ridge, 2015).

View more information: Emily Filmore

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