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Connective Tissue Diseases During Pregnancy

Physicians affiliated with Women's Memorial Hermann Hospital and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center work closely with maternal-fetal medicine specialists at the Texas Fetal Center to diagnose and treat connective tissue disorders during pregnancy for Houston-area women.

Types of Connective Tissue Disorders

Rheumatologic and connective tissue disorders commonly seen in pregnancy include:

  • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • antiphospholipid syndrome
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • scleroderma
Although these conditions mainly involve the skin and joints, any organ of the body can be affected by these conditions.

Many of the rheumatologic disorders are seen more often in women, and SLE and antiphospholipid syndrome are seen frequently in women of childbearing age. You may need treatment for your rheumatologic disorder during pregnancy.

Complications

Pregnancies complicated by rheumatologic disorders may be complicated by fetal growth delay, preterm birth, preeclampsia, congenital heart block and stillbirth. Additional testing may be needed during your pregnancy. Physicians at the Center will tailor any additional laboratory evaluation and pregnancy testing specific to your disease.

Treatment

Physicians at the Center will work with your obstetrician to prescribe safe and efficacious medications for your particular disease. In some cases, you may need to see a rheumatologist (a specialist in connective tissue and rheumatologic disorders). Genetic counselors at the Center are also available to review medications and their effects in pregnancy. Our goal is a healthy mother and baby.