Chronic arthritis often affects women of childbearing age. The old concept that having chronic arthritis constitutes a major obstacle to women when planning a pregnancy is now obsolete. Thanks to our current capacity to control the activity of rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory conditions, and due to the availability of highly effective drugs such as tumour necrosis factor inhibitor agents and other biological agents, many women with these diseases are now able to consider the challenge of childbearing and raising children. Careful pre-conceptional evaluation and risk assessment constitutes the first step of proper care, which can be individualised according to the disease. More than ever, rheumatologists must know how to deal with this situation, and must be able to provide adequate counselling regarding the control of arthritis during conception and pregnancy.
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