Birth control and pregnancy

Talk to your doctor or your health-care team if you have questions about birth control methods or pregnancy and JIA.

Birth control

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


Welcome to the Taking Charge: Managing JIA Online Program! In this section you will learn what to expect in the program, how to get started and how to set goals to better manage JIA.

JIA stands for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Find out what causes JIA, the different types of JIA and how it will affect you now and in the future.

Diagnosing JIA may be difficult as joint pain and swelling may be a part of many different illnesses. Diagnosis of JIA typically includes a physical exam, blood tests and imaging studies.

Pain, stiffness, and tiredness or fatigue, are common symptoms of JIA. These symptoms can lead to difficulties with participating in school and sports activities, and enjoying time with your friends. Learn about pain, fatigue, and stiffness, how to manage symptoms and how these symptoms can cause stress.

There are several strategies you can use to help you cope with pain, stress, and sleep problems. These include relaxation, distraction, and managing your thoughts. In this section, learn more about how each of these strategies work.

When you know about your medications, you can talk to your doctor about them and make good choices for yourself. Find out about the different types of JIA medications, how they work, common side effects, and the importance of talking to your doctor about your medication plan.

Did you know that there are many other therapies that you can use to manage JIA symptoms? They can help to prevent complications so that you can do all the things you want to do. In this section, learn more about physical, occupational, and psychological therapies; maintaining healthy nutrition; surgical options for JIA, and more.

Your role in making decisions about your treatment plan is very important. Your health-care team and other members of your support system are available to help you make these decisions. In turn, they can help you to manage your JIA.

Whether you have JIA or not, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Find out how to stay healthy and active, learn about puberty and relationships, healthy body image, and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Sometime between the ages of 18 to 22, you most likely will transition from your pediatric rheumatologist to the adult health care setting. At that time, there are a number of things you, your family, and your health-care team can do to help make this change go smoothly.