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Pregnancy in women with systemic lupus erythematosus

Peter H Schur, MD
Bonnie L Bermas, MD
Section Editors
David S Pisetsky, MD, PhD
Charles J Lockwood, MD, MHCM
Deputy Editor
Monica Ramirez Curtis, MD, MPH


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) occurs frequently in women of childbearing age. Although patients with SLE are as fertile as women in the general population, their pregnancies may be associated with complications. The prognosis for both mother and child is best when SLE has been quiescent and when renal disease in remission for at least six months prior to the pregnancy Thus, contraception and family planning are particularly important for women with SLE. Maternal health and fetal development should be monitored frequently during pregnancy. If possible, delivery should occur in a controlled setting. In addition, many women with SLE should be followed by an obstetrician knowledgeable in high-risk pregnancies [1].

Patients with SLE with one or more of the following features should be followed by an obstetrician experienced in management of high risk pregnancies [2]:

Prior history of poor obstetric outcomes

Renal involvement

Cardiac involvement


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Literature review current through: Apr 2015. | This topic last updated: Nov 17, 2014.
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