When it comes to pregnancy and women with vasculitis, there is limited and unreliable information out there, which is a great concern for patients and their physicians. To address this need, the Vasculitis Pregnancy Registry (V-PREG) has created a two-page handout, “Family Planning & Birth Control Information for Vasculitis Patients.” It was developed by Megan Clowse, MD, MPH, and Catherine Sims, MD, of Duke University Rheumatology and Immunology.
There are many different forms of vasculitis that pose different issues for pregnancy. The V-PREG handout is designed for patients who have questions about birth control, conceiving and pregnancy, and can be used as a reference tool when having discussions with their health care provider.
The handout is a guide that can help facilitate important conversations about family planning. For example, if a woman or her partner has vasculitis and they do not want pregnancy to occur, they should discuss effective birth control options including emergency contraception with their health care provider.
One of the most common questions women and men with vasculitis ask is how this disease will affect their ability to have children so it’s important to begin the discussion about the potential for pregnancy early on. There will be questions centering around medications that they both may be currently taking and how those might affect the safety of conceiving.
As outlined in the handout, there are other questions to consider if a woman becomes pregnant:
- Is her vasculitis well controlled?
- Which doctors should be involved in her care?
- Are her current medications appropriate to take during pregnancy and are they safe?
- What are the possible complications during pregnancy?
V-PREG is run through the Vasculitis Patient-Powered Research Network. Its goal is to conduct high-quality studies that will improve the care and the health of patients with vasculitis by exploring research questions that matter most to patients and advance medical knowledge about vasculitis. V-PREG is a way to help researchers learn more about how vasculitis impacts pregnancy and how pregnancy impacts vasculitis.
To view the handout: Vasculitis Family Planning Birth Control Handout
For more information about V-PREG, click here.
Author: Nina Silberstein