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Connective Tissue Diseases During Pregnancy

Maternal-fetal medicine specialists affiliated with Memorial Hermann provide high quality care and advanced services for women to diagnose and treat connective tissue disorders during pregnancy.

Types of Connective Tissue Disorders

Rheumatologic and connective tissue disorders commonly seen in pregnancy include:

  • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • antiphospholipid syndrome
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • scleroderma

AAlthough these conditions mainly involve the skin and joints, these conditions can affect any organ of the body. Many of the rheumatologic disorders are seen more often in women, and SLE and antiphospholipid syndrome are seen frequently in women of childbearing age. Patients may need treatment for rheumatologic disorders 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 pregnancy. Affiliated physicians will tailor any additional laboratory evaluation and pregnancy testing specific to each patient’s disease.

Treatment

Affiliated specialists will work with a patient’s obstetrician to prescribe safe and efficacious medications for the patient’s particular disease. In some cases, the patient may need to see a rheumatologist (a specialist in connective tissue and rheumatologic disorders). Genetic counselors affiliated with Memorial Hermann are also available to review medications and their effects in pregnancy.