Suffering from arthritis during pregnancy? It may lead to premature birth

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Babies born to women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy are likely to have low birth weight and be premature, according to researchers. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects a person’s joints, causing pain and disability and can also affect internal organs.
While the condition is more common in older people, there is also a high prevalence in young adults, adolescents, and even children, and it affects women more frequently than men. The study showed that babies born to women with rheumatoid arthritis were associated with an increased chance of low birthweight, prematurity, and small size for their gestational age.
“Our results add to a growing body of evidence from different populations suggesting small but significant increases in prematurity and a decrease in birth weight in pregnancies in mothers with rheumatoid arthritis,” said Yun-Chen Tsai, from the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan in Taiwan.
The results, presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018) in Amsterdam, showed that except premature delivery, no adverse outcomes have reported for mothers with rheumatoid arthritis. “While these findings are important, they should not discourage women with arthritis from trying to conceive,” Tsai added.
It is well documented that during pregnancy many women with arthritis experience improvement in their symptoms. This is thought to be due to alterations in the body which suppress the immune system to stop the mother from rejecting the foetus.
However, the effect of arthritis in pregnant women on foetuses was less known, the researchers said. For the study, the team examined 845 women with single pregnancies who also had arthritis.Pregnancy is typically divided into three trimesters. The first trimester is from week one through 12 and includes conception, which is when the sperm fertilizes the egg.[4] The fertilized egg then travels down the fallopian tube and attaches to the inside of the uterus, where it begins to form the embryo and placenta.During the first trimester, the possibility of miscarriage (natural death of embryo or fetus) is at its highest. The second trimester is from week 13 through 28.[4] Around the middle of the second trimester, movement of the fetus may be felt. At 2 eeks, more than 90% of babies can survive outside of the uterus if provided with high-quality medical care. The third trimester is from 29 weeks through 40 weeks.Prenatal care improves pregnancy outcomes. Prenatal care may include taking extra folic acid, avoiding drugs and alcohol, regular exercise, blood tests, and regular physical examinations. Complications of pregnancy may include disorders of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, iron-deficiency anemia, and severe nausea and vomiting among others.In the ideal childbirth labor begins on its own when a woman is “at term”.
Pregnancy is considered at full term when gestation has lasted 39 to 41 weeks.After 41 weeks, it is known as late term and after 42 weeks post term. Babies born before 39 weeks are considered early term while those before 37 weeks are preterm.Preterm babies are at higher risk of health problems such as cerebral palsy.
Delivery before 39 weeks by labor induction or caesarean section is not recommended unless required for other medical reasons.Globally, 40% of pregnancies are unplanned. Half of unplanned pregnancies are aborted.
Among unintended pregnancies in the United States, 60% of the women used birth control to some extent during the month pregnancy occurred.About 213 million pregnancies occurred in 2012, of which, 190 million were in the developing world and 23 million were in the developed world.
The number of pregnancies in women ages 15 to 44 is 133 per 1,000 women. About 10% to 15% of recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage.In 2013, complications of pregnancy resulted in 293,000 deaths, down from 377,000 deaths in 1990.

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