Family planning involves preparing for or preventing having children. This means thinking about birth control, fertility and pregnancy. It is important for all women, whether you want a family, do not want a family, or are not sure. As pregnancies are not always planned,1 it is good to know the right information, even if you do not want a family.
Family planning is important for women of childbearing age, particularly for those with psoriasis.1 You may have questions about how your psoriasis could affect your family planning. This could include any impact on your fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Some women feel they have to choose between pregnancy and taking their psoriasis treatment – they might even stop treatment without speaking with their dermatologist (skin specialist).2 But you do not necessarily need to choose! There are treatments suitable during pregnancy and breastfeeding that can help you control your psoriasis.1,3
Pregnancy is possible in psoriasis!
Psoriasis presents as inflammation of the skin.1,4 Controlling this inflammation is important before and during pregnancy, as it can lead to better outcomes for you and your baby.1,3 Some treatments can transfer to your baby,1 so it is important to understand which treatments are less likely to transfer to your baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
If needed, your dermatologist can help you choose a treatment that is pregnancy-compatible.1,2 It is important to talk to your dermatologist about this early, so they can give you all the information you need to understand the available treatments. Do not worry if you are unsure about your plans for a family, or if your plans change. It is still important to keep talking to your doctor about any possible changes.
Your dermatologist can help you select a treatment that will treat you and not your baby
Experts have written guidelines to help dermatologists give you advice about your psoriasis treatment. These guidelines consider the evidence for treatment use before, during and after pregnancy. They are written for doctors, but they are available to the public if you want to know more.
Together, you and your dermatologist can talk about the best treatment option for you, as well as your fears or concerns around your special journey. Together, you can make a shared decision on the most suitable plan for you and your baby.5
Key points to remember:
- Gottlieb AB, Ryan C, Murase JE. Clinical Considerations for the Management of Psoriasis in Women. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2019;5(3):141–150.
- De Simone C, Calabrese L, Balato A, Cannavò SP, Dattola A, Esposito M et al. Psoriasis and its management in women of childbearing age: tools to increase awareness in dermatologists and patients. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2020;155(4):434–440.
- Allen KD, Kiefer MK, Butnariu M, Afzali A. Pregnant Women With Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases Who Discontinue Biologics Have Higher Rates of Disease Flare. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2022;306(6):1929–1937.
- Lam M, Steen J, Lu JD and Vender R. The incidence and prevalence of uveitis in psoriasis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Cutan Med Surg. 2020;24(6):601–607.
- Morrison T, Johnson J, Baghoomian W, Hamilton A, Simpson E, Greiling T et al. Shared Decision-Making in Dermatology: A Scoping Review. JAMA Dermatol.
This article was developed and funded by UCB.
Date of preparation: July 2023
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