Throughout the last decade, increasing awareness has been raised on issues related to reproduction in rheumatic diseases including basic research to clarify the important role of estrogens in the etiology and pathophysiology of immune/inflammatory diseases. Sub- or infertility is a heterogeneous condition that can be related to immunological mechanisms, to pregnancy loss, to disease burden, to therapy, and to choices in regard to family size. Progress in reproductive medicine has made it possible for more patients with rheumatic disease to have children. Active disease in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects their children's birth weight and may have long-term effects on their future health status. Pregnancy complications as preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction are still increased in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), however, biomarkers can monitor adverse events, and several new therapies may improve outcomes. Pregnancies in women with APS remain a challenge, and better therapies for the obstetric APS are needed. New prospective studies indicate improved outcomes for pregnancies in women with rare diseases like systemic sclerosis and vasculitis. TNF inhibitors hold promise for maintaining remission in rheumatological patients and may be continued at least in the first half of pregnancy. Pre-conceptional counseling and interdisciplinary management of pregnancies are essential for ensuring optimal pregnancy outcomes.
Keywords: Fertility; Hormones; Placenta; Pregnancy complications; Rheumatic Diseases; TNF inhibitors.
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