Has anyone gone through pregnancy after being diagnosed with RA? Was it planned? Did you stop treatment? How did you feel throughout the pregnancy with or without treatment. (I've read there are safe treatments for RA during pregnancy) How was your delivery and how did you feel afterwards and how long did you wait to get back on the treatment? Sorry, this is such a random question. I am new to this condition, it has been 1 year since I received the diagnosis and I don't have any… read more
Hi. I was diagnosed with Juvenile RA at 6 yrs old. At that time the only safe treatment was aspirin. I did not go on any RA medicines till after my son was born. While pregnant I had never felt so good in my life, (I had energy, no depression and no drugs), or since then. I didn't conceive till age 36. I had 2 miscarriages before that. But with the pregnancy that came full term, I did have some bleeding at 4 months(terrified), and had to take it easy the rest of the pregnancy. I walked everyday. But after my son was born, I fell apart. Everything hurt, everything was swollen. After I finished breastfeeding, I saw a rheumatologist who I have been seeing for over 20 years. We tried every RA drug, until my husbands health insurance covered Enbrel. After 2 years his insurance changed and did not cover it anymore. But those two years seemed to be enough to stop any further damage to my joints. But like I said, while pregnant I had almost forgotten about RA. But again everyone's body is different. Good luck.
P.S I did not nor would I take any drugs while I was pregnant.
I was diagnosed in 2010 and had my son in 2016. It was not planned but I wasn't on any biologics so there wasn't an issue. I was on Prednisone (tablets) and ibuprofen though. I did have to quit the ibuprofen during the pregnancy so my joint pain was bad even though I continued Prednisone throughout. Luckily I worked mainly from home so it was tolerable. My then Rheumy recommended a medicarion that was "safe" during pregnancy but hadn't been tested on humans for its effects on the developing fetus. Delivery was normal but they did have a protocol for RA patients which included crisis doses of steroids. I breastfed for 17 months then started treatment again as caring for my son started to get difficult.
I haven’t - unfortunately I had a hysterectomy at 29 for a different condition. But before then I had had some talks with my rheum and looked a few things up. I was told one option was local steroid injections in the problem joints. This works okay if not all of your joints are affected and you don’t have a lot of erosion to start with. For me I have a lot of joints affected and a few worse than others, so I get the injections occasionally in my hands and knees.
If you’ve been on Arava/leflunomide and I think methotrexate too you have to wait a really long time for it to get out of your system before you start trying. Two doctors told me they strongly preferred that I wait a year before trying after stopping those. I had to agree to that before they let me start it, since obviously that affects long term plans. (Also, although I didn’t find out until later, why I can’t donate blood anymore.)
Before the hysterectomy I was given the option of trying IVF and we ended up deciding against it. The idea of being off DMARDs and biologics for up to two years was too much. If you think you can handle it though, other people told me that their RA got a lot better during pregnancy so it was better than they had expected.