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Sex, pregnancy and rheumatoid arthritis

Sex and rheumatoid arthritis

There’s no reason why rheumatoid arthritis should you should stop having sex. You may find that some positions are more comfortable than others, so experiment to find out what works for you. Tiredness may affect your desire for sex, so talk to your partner. Good communication is the key to resolving any difficulties. The contraceptive pill won’t make a difference to your arthritis or its treatment so it’s fine to keep taking it.

Pregnancy and rheumatoid arthritis

If you want a baby, discuss your plans with your doctor before you want to start a family as some drugs can temporarily reduce fertility. Other drugs, such as methotrexate and leflunomide, can affect the baby’s development so it’s important to use reliable contraception while you're taking these – this applies to men wanting to father a child as well as to women. 

Most mothers with rheumatoid arthritis feel better during pregnancy, possibly because theactivity of the immune system is reduced during pregnancy to 'tolerate' the growing baby. Symptoms are likely to return once the baby is born. However, any flare-up of symptoms after the birth can usually be dealt with quickly.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.