Patients with SLE are mostly young women diagnosed during their childbearing years. Several “unmet needs” in the management of reproductive health issues may impact on the decision to have children. Because of earlier recognition of disease and advances in medical treatment, family planning has gained greater importance. Concerns include the effect of pregnancy on maternal disease, the impact of disease activity on fetal health, and the safety of medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Preconception counselling and risk stratification (including life style, disease activity, autoantibody profile, previous vascular and pregnancy morbidity, hypertension and the use of drugs with emphasis on benefits from hydroxychloroquine and antiplatelets/anticoagulants) are essential for prevention of unwanted complications during pregnancy. Recommendations for the management of family planning and antirheumatic treatment during pregnancy and lactation have been published recently by EULAR. However, many lupus patients still do not feel that their family planning concerns are adequately addressed in current clinical practice and report that they receive inconsistent advice from the various healthcare professionals. There is a clear need for provision of up-to-date and consistent information/support to our patients.
Disclosure of Interest None declared