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Should women with rheumatoid athritis undergo fertility preservation?

By Paloma Sánchez Gómez M. D. (gynecologist).
Last Update: 07/06/2022

When giving advice in medicine, we must always individualize each case and bear in mind the various factors, above all because this illness is usually diagnosed more frequently in women, often of a reproductive age, and usually creates doubts and fears with respect to maternity.

The fundamental message to get across to women who suffer from this chronic autoimmune disease, is that if they wish, they can become mothers. Arthritis does not cause infertility nor reduces the likelyhood of falling pregnant; however, it can influence the decision of using certain drugs to control the disease, namely those which can affect the baby if she becomes pregnant during, or in the months following, treatment with the medication.

As such, it is very important for these women to receive multidisciplinary management, with rheumatologists, obstetricians, neonatologists and experts in assisted reproduction to have a global focus on the illness while considering the control of the patient´s symptoms, her quality of life and her desire to become a mother. If the use of gonadotoxins is deemed necessary, which can affect the quality and quantity of egg cells, reducing the ovarian reserve, and / or when we recommend delaying motherhood, vitrifying eggs beforehand, thus preserving fertility, will increase the chances of achieving a healthy pregnancy in the future.

 Paloma Sánchez Gómez
Paloma Sánchez Gómez
M. D.
Gynecologist
Dr. Sánchez-Gómez has a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the Complutense University of Madrid. She also has a Master's degree in Assisted Reproduction from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid and a degree in Clinical Genetics in Assisted Reproduction from the Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche.
Member number: 282863971
Gynecologist. Dr. Sánchez-Gómez has a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the Complutense University of Madrid. She also has a Master's degree in Assisted Reproduction from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid and a degree in Clinical Genetics in Assisted Reproduction from the Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche. Member number: 282863971.