Ahh, the miracle of life.
Though it’s a beautiful thing, pregnancy can become an increasingly painful thing for those with arthritis and related conditions. And although ankylosing spondylitis occurs mostly in men—two to three more times more, to be exact—women can and do develop the disease.
So, here’s the breakdown.
Medicine.net analyzed a 1998 study on how ankylosing spondylitis (AS) affects women. The study included nine hundred and thirty-nine women who responded to a questionnaire that included clinical data and details on past and recent pregnancies.
Although some of the responses validate the obvious assumption that pregnancy with ankylosing spondylitis can lead to flare-ups, the good news is that it shouldn’t stop women with AS from having healthy beautiful children. Here are the 10 stats from the survey:
1. Of the women surveyed, 45%had inflamed joints away from the spine; 48% had inflammation of the iris of the eye; 18% has psoriasis; and 16% had inflammatory bowel disease
2. 15.1% of 649 women living with ankylosing spondylitis had experienced a miscarriage
3. During 616 previous and 366 recent pregnancies, disease activity was unchanged in 33%, improved in 30%, and worsened in 32%
4. Improvement of the disease was significantly more among women having a female child, rather than male
5. Delivery occurred at term in 93.2% of cases. In ankylosing spondylitis, the rate of cesarean section was high—58% of cases
6. Ankylosing spondylitis had an adverse effect on being a mother and caregiver as a result of active pain and stiffness
7. A postpartum flare of ankylosing spondylitis within six months after delivery was experienced by 60% of women and most often with patients who had active disease at conception
8. Active disease at conception is a likely predictor of a postpartum flare
9. Study respondents were an average of 23 years old for when the onset of ankylosing spondylitis started to occur, just 3 years younger than the national average for women to have their first child.
10. Ankylosing spondylitis isn’t believed to adversely affect fertility, the development of the baby in the womb, or newborn
To read more results of a study (published under the title “Ankylosing spondylitis—the female aspect”), visit Medicine.net’s original post and get educated!