Ankylosing Spondylitis and Pregnancy

Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

The influence of pregnancy, delivery, and the post-partum period is a common concern of persons with arthritis and related conditions. Although ankylosing spondylitis occurs predominantly in men (two to three times more common in males than in females), women can and do develop the disease.

This topic of pregnancy and ankylosing spondylitis was studied and published under the title "Ankylosing spondylitis--the female aspect" (J Rheumatol 1998 Jan;25[1]:120-4). I think this study serves well as a review of pregnancy issues in women with ankylosing spondylitis.

In collaboration with the Ankylosing Spondylitis International Federation, a questionnaire including clinical data and details on past and recent pregnancies was sent to the female members of national and regional Ankylosing Spondylitis societies in the USA, Canada, and 11 European countries. (It should be noted that questionnaires do have shortcomings from a research standpoint, including inaccurate completion of the forms, lack of personal interaction, and accurate interpretation of both the questions and the responses.)

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