Talk to your doctor or your health-care team if you have questions about birth control methods or pregnancy and JIA.
Birth control can help prevent unwanted pregnancies. Talk with your nurses and doctors about birth control. There are several birth control options for males and for females but your own options may be limited depending on your condition or your medications.
If you want to become pregnant, it is best to plan it in advance as opposed to it being a surprise. Becoming pregnant is a huge decision for anyone. It is an even bigger decision when you have a health condition. Get as much information as you can before taking this step.
If you want to have children, speak with your doctor about how JIA may affect your sexual and reproductive systems. This goes for both males and females. Most importantly, make sure to discuss any medications that you may be on, especially during any part of pregnancy. Some medications may be harmful to the unborn baby. Your doctor will be able to help you with this and give you advice.
A story of hope
“My worries about what the future held for me began when I was a teenager. It didn’t take me long to realise that I couldn’t do the same things that other people without JIA could do. I wondered whether I would ever have a so-called ‘normal life’. Would I be able to go to university and have a career? Would I be able to get pregnant and care for a child?
But as I got older, I realised that all of this was possible. Sure, I wasn’t able to do things like people without JIA but I always found a way to make it work. I just had to adapt things so that it would be possible.
Of course, the same worries came back when I got pregnant – would I be able to care for my baby? Once I had my daughter, I adapted just like I did to everything else. I found ways to limit the amount of time I had to carry her with my sore shoulders. I used a sling to feed and rock her. I bought a car seat that was easy to use with my badly damaged hands and wrists. And to conserve my energy, I napped when my daughter napped during the day.”
– Laurie, young adult