Lupus and your body

Can antiphospholipid antibodies affect a pregnancy?

Dr. Michelle Petri is the Director of the Hopkins Lupus Cohort, a longitudinal study of morbidity and mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus, and Co-Director of the Hopkins Lupus Pregnancy Center.

See all of Michelle Petri, MD, MPH's answers.

Yes, APS can affect a pregnancy. If a woman with APS gets pregnant, they can experience multiple miscarriages or preeclampsia. Therefore, it is necessary for the patient’s obstetrician/gynecologist to work closely with the rheumatologist or other physician who diagnosis a women with miscarriages due to APS. 

Medications are available, which may decrease the risk of miscarriages in a woman with APS. Some women are helped by combinations of aspirin and/or Heparin injections, whereas others continue to have miscarriages even with these medications. Treatment with a glucocorticoid, such as Prednisone, is usually avoided. This is because it is more likely than other medications to cause diabetes and an increase in blood pressure during pregnancy. Other treatments, including plasmapheresis or intravenous gammaglobulin, may be considered in individual cases.

Medically reviewed on July 26, 2013