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If you’re thinking of having a baby, there’s a lot to consider especially if you have psoriatic arthritis (PsA). It’s normal to find yourself asking the following questions: Will arthritis or the medication I take for it affect my baby? Does psoriasis make pregnancy high risk? Does psoriasis affect fertility or make it harder to get pregnant?
In this article, we’ll answer all your fears and give you the information you need to know when it comes to psoriatic arthritis and pregnancy.
What is psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease that affects the joints as it is a type of arthritis that attacks people who have psoriasis — a disease that causes red skin patches with silvery scales. While most people tend to develop psoriasis a long time before being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, there are the rare few who develop the joint problems and pain of psoriatic arthritis before the skin patches start to appear.
Psoriatic arthritis is known to affect any part of the body starting from the fingertips to the spine and can be mild or severe in different body parts. Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling are among the many symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and can vary between flares and periods of remission.
While there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, the treatment is a method to control symptoms and prevent joint damage. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can lead to disabilities.
Psoriatic arthritis symptoms and signs
- Swollen fingers and toes. Psoriatic arthritis leads to pain and swelling of your fingers and toes.
- Foot pain. Psoriatic arthritis causes pain in areas where tendons and ligaments attach to your bones such as the back of your heel (Achilles tendinitis) or the sole of your foot (Plantar fasciitis)
- Lower back pain. Psoriatic arthritis can lead to inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of your spine and the joints between your spine and pelvis.
- Nail changes. Nails can form dents, separate from the nail beds, or become hard or crumbly.
- Eye inflammation. Psoriatic arthritis can also cause eye pain, redness, or blurry vision too.
Does psoriasis make pregnancy high risk?
If you’re trying to get pregnant, it is best to speak with your doctor and agree on methods to control your psoriasis without taking medication for a few months.
Psoriasis doesn’t affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant or have any impact on her fertility. However, the main concern when it comes to psoriasis and pregnancy is the effect of the medication on your baby. Depending on the medication you take, it could lead to a miscarriage or deformation in babies. That’s why it is essential to check with your doctor about your medication before taking it.
Psoriasis and pregnancy complications
About 60% of pregnant women with psoriasis arthritis have reported that their symptoms improved during pregnancy, whereas another 10% expressed that pregnancy triggered flares of psoriasis arthritis and the symptoms worsened. It is also likely that pains related to the hips and back will worsen as a result of pregnancy.
Another study of PsA in pregnancy showed that there could be an increased risk of preterm birth for pregnancies in people with PsA and the need for cesarean labor.
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Sources used in this article:
- Psoriatic arthritis and pregnancy – Medical News Today
- Pregnancy in women with psoriatic – Pregnancy in Women with psoriatic arthritis