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Lupus erythematosus presenting as panniculitis.

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  • Research Article
  • Medicine


OTIS MEMBER REVIEW – please send comments to Sara Riordan ([email protected] For more information about the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists or to find a service in your area, call (866) 626-6847 or visit us online at: Lupus and Pregnancy This sheet talks about the risks that lupus can have during pregnancy. With each pregnancy, all women have a 3% to 5% chance of having a baby with a birth defect. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your health care provider. What is lupus? Lupus is more formally known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It is an autoimmune disease that affects many different parts of the body. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells or organs. Approximately 1.1 million Americans have SLE, 90% of these being women. Most women are diagnosed in their early 20’s or 30’s. I have lupus and I am thinking of becoming pregnant. Is there anything I should know? Women with lupus can have healthy pregnancies. However, women with lupus have higher risks for complications during pregnancy. Doctors believe that pregnancy outcome is better if the disease is well controlled for at least six months prior to becoming pregnant. If you are considering pregnancy, it is important to speak to your doctor before trying to get pregnant. Will lupus make it harder for me to get pregnant? No. Lupus itself does not affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant (i.e. her fertility). However, taking high doses of certain medicines can affect how your ovaries work and can interfere with you getting pregnant. Also having severe kidney disease may make it harder for you to become pregnant. How will pregnancy affect my symptoms? It is not clear whether pregnancy increases the number of lupus flares or new symptoms of lupus. Women who do have flares during pregnan

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