Conception, Pregnancy and Nursing
In general, psoriasis does not affect the male or female reproductive systems. However, many psoriasis treatments require special precautions before and during pregnancy. It is important to consult with your doctor to verify your psoriasis treatments are safe for pregnancy and nursing.
How psoriasis changes during pregnancy
Some women see an improvement in the severity of their psoriasis during pregnancy, while others report their psoriasis gets worse. Changes in severity of psoriasis vary by individual and from pregnancy to pregnancy.
Genetic aspects of psoriasis
Psoriasis is believed to be a genetic disease, but it does not follow a typical dominant or recessive pattern of inheritance. No one can predict who will get psoriasis as researchers do not completely understand how psoriasis is passed from one generation to another. The pattern of inheritance probably involves multiple genes or combinations of many genes, and the search is on to find those genes.
About one out of three people with psoriasis report that a relative has or had psoriasis. If one parent has psoriasis, a child has about a 10 percent chance of having psoriasis. If both parents have psoriasis, a child has approximately a 50 percent chance of being diagnosed with the disease.
Studies of identical twins with psoriasis show that psoriasis is at least partially genetic. But those same studies also reinforce the complexity of psoriasis. In about one-third of identical twin pairs where psoriasis is present, only one twin has the disease, indicating that environmental factors or triggers play a role in who develops psoriasis. The theory that psoriasis is triggered by a combination of genes and external forces is called "multifactorial inheritance." Once the genes responsible for psoriasis are discovered, the inheritance pattern may be better understood.
Psoriatic arthritis and pregnancy
Although medications should be limited during conception and pregnancy, this may be impossible for those who have psoriatic arthritis. Some pain medications can be used safely during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor about all over-the-counter and prescription medications you take before conception, during pregnancy and while nursing.
Psoriasis and birth
Be sure to let your obstetrician know that you have psoriasis and or psoriatic arthritis. One recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that women with severe psoriasis are at a higher risk of having a low birth weight baby than are women without psoriasis. In contrast, women with mild psoriasis do not face this higher risk. Read the full article for more details.
You may also be interested in: