Expert Answers to Top Questions About Rheumatoid Arthritis
What causes RA? How is RA diagnosed? What about RA treatment? These questions and more
Will RA affect my chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy
Women with RA do not appear to have decreased fertility, and they often go
into remission during pregnancy. Women may have a flare within six to eight
weeks of giving birth. Breastfeeding might be problematic because if a woman
has a flare, she will need to resume taking her medications, and RA medications
can’t be taken while breastfeeding because the drugs can get into the milk
Are my children at risk for developing RA if I have it?
They are at a slightly increased risk of developing RA or another autoimmune
disease. [But] we don’t recommend that people with no symptoms have any type of
screening test at this point.
Can I live a long life with RA?
Yes. If you have active RA, it’s important to treat the underlying
inflammation. This will have positive effects on your quality of life and your
life expectancy. People with RA seem to have a greater chance of having heart
disease … but treating the inflammation can help reduce that risk. Managing the
traditional risk factors for heart disease helps, too -- maintaining an
appropriate weight and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels if
they are elevated.