Using birth control when you have lupus
Generally, having lupus is not a contraindication for any contraceptive methods. However, for some individuals with lupus, certain health issues like thrombosis or antiphospholipid antibodies may require you to limit the use of certain methods. You should always talk to your doctors about contraception and what options are right for you.
Choosing a type of birth control
Deciding what type of birth control to use is a very personal decision, with or without lupus. The method that you choose will depend on how lupus affects your body, as well as other aspects of your health that may not be related to lupus. Some doctors believe that for someone with lupus, birth control should be limited to condoms, spermicidal jelly/creams or a diaphragm. However, two large clinical trials showed that contraceptives containing the hormone estrogen are generally safe and do not affect lupus disease activity. Other hormonal methods, such as oral contraceptives and intrauterine devices containing progestin, are also generally safe.
However, hormonal birth control is not right for everyone. There are several contraindications for these methods in women with and without lupus that have to be observed. For example, health issues like thrombosis or antiphosphoplipid antibodies may require you to limit the use of certain methods. For this reason, it is vital that you talk to your health care providers about birth control and what options are right for you.
For further information, consult the guide for birth control for women with lupus, available at lupuspregnancy.org from HOP-STEP.