Improvement: how much? for everyone?

Extent of improvement
Women with RA are well-acquainted with the natural pregnancy-induced improvement of the disease. Those who have experienced it describe it as being “better than any known medications for RA”. However, the extent of improvement appears to vary from one person to another, as reported by patients. Unfortunately, the beneficial effect of pregnancy is only temporary and is followed by a predictable flare of the disease 3-6 months after child- birth.

Not all women experience an improvement
It should also be noted though that not all women with RA experience an improvement during pregnancy. Following Dr. Hench’s 1938 paper, there have been numerous publications reporting that approximately 75-90% of women with RA experience a natural improvement during pregnancy. More recently, one study in the Netherlands found that the proportion of women with RA who go into remission during pregnancy is much lower – closer to 50%. Among the women who do not improve, the disease remains unchanged or may even get worse during pregnancy.