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Does Sjogren’s syndrome affect my fertility?

in by iouliap
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In September 2012 I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome due to a flare. I had to take cortisone since last July. Now I am fine and stable (but always tired) under medication. I am 33 years old and I really feel its my time to make a family. Is Sjogren affecting my fertility?


About iouliap

Conditions: Sjögren's syndrome

Doctors seen: MD – primary care

Treatment: Prescription medication/shots

Age: 25-34

iouliap
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2 Answers

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The role of Sjogren’s in relation to fertility is a challenging one and the answer is not simple. All autoimmune diseases, Sjogrens included, increase the risk of infertility regardless of direct effects on fertilization and implantation. There is almost always an increased risk of spontaneous abortion or miscarriage in someone with an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases can also affect ovarian function, and some conditions have been linked to premature ovarian failure. As with any autoimmune disease, once you are diagnosed with one condition, you are at higher risk of developing other autoimmune conditions that can have a direct effect on fertility such as celiac disease or hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is important to get screened for other conditions that may be related to the Sjogrens that could be influencing infertility as well.

Research has shown though that reduction of antibodies and proper management of autoimmune diseases going into pregnancy will significantly reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy and labor.

The other things to consider in relation to Sjogren’s and infertility is effect of medications. Cortisone, or similar corticosteroids can affect female hormone levels and influence your ability to cycle regularly. Similarly, cortisone is extremely contraindicated in pregnancy (except in very specific situations), as it has very detrimental effects on fetuses in utero.

Overall, if you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease such as Sjogren’s and you are trying to conceive, it is always a good idea to get a good doctor on board who can help you reduce possible risk factors before and after conceiving. Once pregnant, you will also need to be monitored carefully to make sure the baby is developing properly and that risks for complications in pregnancy and birth are reduced.

Jenny Bennett, ND LAc
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About Me:


Answered on May 19, 2014

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Generally, Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the glands produce tears and saliva, which are attacked and destroyed by immune cells. This disorder is closely linked with rheumatoid arthritis and shows symptoms such as dry mouth and dry eyes. Its relation with fertility is yet a researching topic, however, as all autoimmune diseases increases the risk of infertility, thus it might creates problem too. If you have Sjogren's syndrome and planning to get pregnant, then it's essential to see doctor and undergo
pathology test to check out its mark. Your doctor will advise whether pregnancy is viable or not.

LaneMattson
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About Me:

Conditions:

Autoimmune hepatitis

Doctors seen:

DO

Treatment:

Vitamins, herbs, and/or supplements

Children:

2

Age:

25-34
Answered on August 28, 2015

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