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Rheumatology Reproductive Health Program

The Rheumatology Reproductive Health Program (RRHP) of the Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Diseases (BVC) provides the highest quality of counseling and care to rheumatology patients with respect to contraception, fertility and pregnancy concerns. In addition to providing clinical care in this important area, the RRHP facilitates research and enhances physician and patient education.

Patients with rheumatology conditions, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), are at increased risk of maternal and fetal pregnancy complications. Specific disease diagnosis, disease-related damage, level of disease activity, medications, and certain autoantibodies may impact pregnancy. Considerations include:

  • Pre-pregnancy counseling to identify risk factors for poor outcomes and to allow appropriate interventions.
  • Women who have difficulty conceiving may require assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization, and autoimmune rheumatic illnesses may impact the monitoring and/or therapy for these procedures.
  • Women with active or serious disease or those on teratogenic medications should avoid pregnancy and require guidance on which forms of contraception are safe and effective for their specific condition.

pregnant woman talking to reproductive health specialist

 

Patient Care, Research and Education

The RRHP is the result of the BVC’s longtime interest and expertise in the area of reproductive health issues. The structure formalizes the reproductive health counseling and management that HSS physicians have provided for many years and coordinates the care between rheumatologists, obstetrician- gynecologists, maternal fetal medicine physicians and reproductive endocrine and infertility specialists.

Our program goals focus on the following:

  • Patient Care: We provide timely and high-quality counseling and care to rheumatology patients in respect to contraception, fertility and pregnancy issues.
  • Research: We work to further research in the field of reproductive health in rheumatology patients by maintaining a program registry and pursuing individual research projects.
  • Education: Ongoing lectures and conferences increase knowledge and awareness of reproductive health management in rheumatology patients among physicians, and educate patients regarding reproductive health concerns specific to their diagnoses and various situations.

Contact Us

The RRHP works in conjunction with the HSS Lupus and APS Center of Excellence. Patients looking for care from a rheumatologist specializing in reproductive health should call 917.260.4499.

Mailing Address:

Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Diseases
535 East 70th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10021
Fax: 212.774.2258