Rheumatic diseases are not rare in the general population and they tend to affect women and men during their fertile age. Therefore, it is necessary to counsel young patients (both males and females) about their desire to have children. When a woman affected by a rheumatic disease wants a baby, it is necessary to assess and discuss the possible influence of pregnancy on her disease and the impact of her disease on the pregnancy outcome. In addition, information about the use of drugs in male and female patients wishing to conceive and during pregnancy is crucial for an adequate management. However, this information is usually scarce and not derived from clinical trials.
Other issues related to the reproductive journey have emerged as “unmet needs” for rheumatic patients. For instance, there is need for more discussion about contraceptive methods, medically assisted reproduction techniques, breastfeeding, long-term outcome of children, parenting with a chronic disease.
The International Conference will gather not only expert physicians and researchers but also midwives, nurses and other heath professionals from all over the world to discuss and share their data, their experience and to draft future collaborative studies. Although the increasing research efforts in the field, the highest level of evidence-based medicine cannot be applied in every area of the reproductive field. Therefore, it becomes crucial to foster a scientific community who is in charge of developing recommendations for patients’ management based on both published evidence and expert opinion.
Chairperson of the Meeting