Autoimmune diseases Affecting pregnancy
Autoimmune Disease In Pregnancy
Pregnancy has both short-term effects and long-term consequences on the maternal immune system. For women who have an autoimmune disease and subsequently become pregnant, pregnancy can induce amelioration of the mother’s disease, such as in rheumatoid arthritis, while exacerbating or having no effect on other autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus.
Many researchers blamed fluctuating hormones for pregnancy-induced changes in a woman’s vulnerability to autoimmune disease. The interaction between a woman’s immune system and her environment is an important area that has been largely understudied. Hormones may modulate, not trigger changes in a woman’s immune response.
Autoimmune diseases are a group of heterogeneous disorders equally characterized by the same pathogenetic mechanism: an immunological reaction against self antigens promoted by antibodies, immuno-complex formation, and self-reactive T lymphocytes. Autoimmune diseases may be separated into organ-restricted diseases and systemic ones.
Studies have shown that fetal cells can persist in a woman’s body for decades after giving birth. Conversely, maternal cells often live in a child’s body well into adult life. Many researchers believe that understanding how a woman’s immune system responds to these ‘foreign’ cells may help unlock the mysteries of autoimmune disease.
The immune system normally springs to action when bacteria, viruses and other unfamiliar cells invade the body. Yet in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, the body attacks its own healthy tissue. For unexplained reasons, more than 75 percent of autoimmune diseases occur in women, primarily during the childbearing years. A slew of other sex differences exist including the fact that multiple sclerosis typically progresses more quickly in men than in women.
In an effort to explain these sex differences, scientists have investigated the effect of pregnancy on these disorders. Depending upon the illness, pregnancy may improve, aggravate or trigger autoimmune disease. For example, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis often subside during pregnancy, but worsen or occur for the first time soon after giving birth. Results of a number of recent studies suggest that a fetus’ invading cells may trigger these pregnancy-associated changes.
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Autoimmune diseases like lupus orby newlykinked
Rheumatoid arthritis can be accompanied by another autoimmune disease called Sjogren's syndrome. Among other nasty things, it causes severe dry eyes, mouth, vag.
Sjogren's can occur on it's own, but is far more likely to accompany lupus or RA. If she doesn't have those, it is unlikely she has Sjogren's.
I had a big issue with dryness during pregnancy.
Bleeding during sex and severe bleeding during periods is something she should take up with her doctor. Good thing she's having regular visits with her ob/gyn.
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