The chance of success with assisted reproductive technology (ART) is significantly reduced in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), new data in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases suggest.
The study examined data from Danish health registries for women with an embryo transfer from 1 January 1994 to 30 June 2017. There were 1,149 embryo transfers in women with RA and 198,941 in control participants.
RA patients were 22 per cent less likely to have a live birth compared with women without RA (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.78; 95% CI 0.65-0.92). The odds of a biochemical or clinical pregnancy were also approximately 20 per cent less in RA patients (aOR 0.81; 95% CI 0.68-0.95 and 0.82; 95% CI 0.59-1.15, respectively), suggesting the reason for the decreased odds of live birth related to decreased odds of conceiving.
Corticosteroid prescription prior to embryo transfer was associated with an increased chance of live birth (aOR 1.32; 95% CI 0.85-2.05), but the authors say this finding requires further research.
This is the first study to examine the efficacy of ART in women with RA. The authors say the findings suggest women with RA “should be told that they cannot expect the same success per embryo transfer as other women seeking ART.”