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Reproductive Health Rheumatology Services at UPMC

Women with rheumatic diseases need experts who know how their illness impacts their reproductive health.

Because hormones can affect rheumatic diseases, you may have unique concerns about:

  • Birth control.
  • Fertility treatments.
  • Menopause treatments.
  • Pregnancy.

For instance, some treatments are not safe when you're pregnant.

At UPMC, we support the health needs of women with rheumatic diseases.

Women's and Reproductive Care Services We Offer at UPMC

We believe in the power of knowledge and support. Whether you want to prevent pregnancy, grow your family, or get treatment for menopause, we can help.

Family planning counseling for women with rheumatic disease

If you're not sure pregnancy is right for you, we can share info that might help you decide. For instance, we can discuss how your autoimmune health might change when pregnant.

We can also go over the pros and cons of:

  • Egg or embryo freezing.
  • Finding a surrogate.
  • Other fertility treatments.

If you want to get pregnant, we can help you choose the best time.

You may need to get your rheumatic disease under control so your body can better prepare for pregnancy. Or you may want to try a new pregnancy-safe treatment for a few weeks or months before you conceive.

Of course, when or whether to get pregnant is your choice. We'll support and care for you in any case.

Birth control counseling for women with rheumatic disease

Hormonal birth control can sometimes make symptoms better or worse for some people.

We can help you choose the best type for you.

Menopause care

If you have menopause symptoms that affect your quality of life, we can talk you through your treatment options.

Hormone replacement therapy and other treatments are safe for some women with rheumatic disease but not all.

Care during pregnancy

If you come to UPMC for prenatal care, we

  • Can time your checkups around your other visits in order to maximize your time.
  • Watch you closely to make sure your heart, kidneys, and other organs respond well to the additional demands of pregnancy.
  • Adjust your rheumatic disease treatments if necessary.
By keeping you healthy while you're pregnant, we keep your growing baby healthy, too.

We tailor our care to you. How often you see us during your pregnancy varies by your disease type and how severe it is.

Consults for health care providers

Doctors caring for women with rheumatic disease can reach out to us for advice.

For instance, your doctor may:

  • Have a question about whether a birth control option is right for you.
  • Want an e-consult with our experts to discuss a certain drug's safety during pregnancy.

Your rheumatologist may also feel OK managing your disease during pregnancy. But they may want you to see us for a second opinion.

Whatever the case, we're happy to help.

Why Choose UPMC?

We're one of a small number in the U.S. that brings together expertise in both women's health and rheumatic diseases.

We're working to improve reproductive care for women who have rheumatic diseases — not just at our clinics but nationwide.

We helped develop the American College of Rheumatology's reproductive health guidelines.

It's why we do research, share our knowledge, and stay up to date with new evidence.

Whether you're looking to prevent pregnancy or grow your family, we know you're making the best choice for you.

Our role is to support you, listen to you, and take time to answer your questions. We'll work closely with your other doctors to ensure seamless care.

Do I Need My Doctor to Refer Me to UPMC Women's and Reproductive Health Rheumatology?

Yes. Your doctor must refer you so we can make sure our clinic is the best option for you.

Before your first visit, we suggest you write down any pregnancy concerns or questions about your family planning options.

Call 1-888-349-1506 to make an appointment at a UPMC rheumatology location near you.