Research conducted at Hospital for Special Surgery shows that most women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE/lupus) can have successful pregnancies. Previously it was believed that it was risky for women with SLE to have children. However with effective treatments and better understanding of the disease it is now possible to have good outcomes for the mother and fetus.
Dr. Salmon and Jill Buyon from New York University Medical Center, and their colleagues evaluated 333 pregnant women with SLE. The research team found that 80% of lupus patients had a favorable pregnancy outcome.
In patients with SLE the body's own immune system attacks the tissues of the body and can cause complications for the mother and fetus during pregnancy. Patients with SLE may not experience the disease symptoms for long periods of time. It is this timing which is the important element for successful pregnancy outcomes in women with SLE. Pregnancy should be avoided during the period of increased disease activity.
The results will be presented during the American College of Rheumatology's 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago.