Rheumatologists don’t have clear-cut, defined guidelines for managing patients with rheumatic disease during pregnancy, but that dearth of research and information won’t last, according to one of the U.S.’s leading voices on the topic.
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“We are getting better [information and guidelines] … and the more resources clinicians have, the easier it will be for us to talk to our rheumatology patients about family planning and pregnancy,” says Bonnie Lee Bermas, MD, a veteran rheumatologist and director of the Clinical Lupus Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
She notes some recent efforts to address the knowledge gaps, including the 2015 ACR Reproductive Health Summit and a new guideline from the British Society for Rheumatology. “The ACR recognizes that this is important. Everyone recognizes this is an unmet need,” she says.
Dr. Bermas has collaborated with OB/GYNs for more than two decades and, in 2010, helped develop an interdisciplinary program between rheumatology and OB-GYN at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.