I recently had an excellent and very informative conversation with Dr Durowade, who is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist, about contraception in patients with autoimmune conditions, specifically in patients with autoimmune diseases like lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome. This discussion is crucial because safe and effective contraception is a key consideration for patients with autoimmune disorders while at the same time potentially causing complications if not chosen appropriately. Here is the blog version of our conversation and what you should know about contraceptive methods if you have an autoimmune disorder such as lupus or antiphospholipid syndrome.
Why Contraception Matters:
Patients with lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome need to plan their pregnancies for two main reasons: 1/having an active disease can lead to severe complications to the mother and/or the baby and 2/some of the medications used to treat autoimmune conditions such as lupus or antiphospholipid syndrome are not safe for pregnancies and can also carry some risk of complications during pregnancy, not only for the mother but also for the baby. Finally, not all contraception is safe in patients with lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome. As such, Effective and safe contraception is vital to prevent unintended pregnancies and to ensure the health of the future mothers when they decide to have children.
Below are some of the Contraceptive Options that were recommended by Dr. Durowade during our conversation. It is important to remember that these are for educational purposes and do not constitute medical advice. Dr Durowande and myself recommend that patients with an autoimmune condition consult with their rheumatologists and gynecologists to find the right contraception methods that suit their specific medical conditions. They must ensure that the chosen contraceptive method does not interact with their medications and does not increase the risk of dangerous complications like blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes.
Some of the options that can be discussed:
Intrauterine devices such as Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, and Skyla, which release progestin, are considered safe choices. They do not increase the risk of blood clots and can even reduce menstrual flow, making them ideal for many patients.
For patients who prefer oral contraceptives, progestin-only pills can be an option. While they may cause some unpredictable bleeding, they are a safer choice for those with lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome.
Contraceptive implants like Nexplanon, which are inserted under the skin and last for three years, are generally considered safe. Although there isn't extensive data specific to lupus patients, they are assumed to be a good choice because progestin-only pills are well-tolerated.
In conclusion, contraception is a critical aspect of managing the health of patients with autoimmune diseases like lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome. Patients must work closely with their rheumatologists and gynecologists to find the right contraceptive method that aligns with their medical conditions and medication regimens. Dr. Taiwo Durowade emphasizes the importance of open communication with healthcare providers to ensure that patients receive the most suitable and safe options.
You can watch the video related to this blog on our Youtube UnabridgedMD channel
More about Dr. Taiwo Durowade - a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist who has been practicing in the South Suburban area of Chicago for the past 5 years. She obtained her B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at ISU in 2009. She went on to obtain her M.D. at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, followed by a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She returned home to the South Suburban area of Chicago to provide personalized care to the women she wanted to serve – women with whom she could relate and whose issues resonated with her. Dr. Durowade is interested in preventive medicine because it helps women lead healthier lives. She started her own private gynecologic practice in January, 2022 – Dardur Gynecology – in order to better achieve this goal. Dr. Durowade believes information is key and she enjoys educating her patients, which is why she created a show titled “Un-common Knowledge” on her YouTube channel, where she shares information that should be common but remains uncommon, with her subscribers and the social media community at large. Dr. Durowade enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, and watching K-dramas.
Dr. Durowade can be contacted in
Youtube: / @dardurgynecology
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