I am brand new to this site, and what I have read from everyone has been scary yes, but quite reassuring as well.
My husband was diagnosed with RA about a year ago. His doctor's have never told us the in and outs of what RA really is and how it affects your body. I admire each and everyone of you for your strength and also the ability to show your weaknesses. This site has been very comforting for me.
Our issue that we face now is fertility. We have been trying to conceive for approx. 6 months now, and we can't seem to get any direct answers whether or not the meds he as been on has had any direct effect on fertility. He has been on a slew of different meds, including Enbrel, methotrexate, Medrol, a several others that I can't seem to remember. He was on the MX for a short period of time at the beginning, and soon stopped it b/c of the obvious side effects from it. Within the last week, he has stopped taking all of his meds, and even though he won't admit it, is in unbearable pain. All for the sake of us getting pregnant. Does anyone have any info or guidance on what effects, if any, the meds may do to fertility? I would greatly appreciate any help anyone can give. Thank you so much for your time!
Also, the doctor is now trying to get him approved for Humira. Does anyone have any pros/cons of the Humira vs. the Enbrel? Thanks!
Hi. Welcome to this site. I also have found the information here very useful and reassuring at times. Having struggled with fertility issues for years prior to having my twin daughters, I can somewhat relate to your situation. I was not diagnosed with RA at that time, but because fertility was an issue to me back then, it's something that I keep in mind now that I am taking arthritis medications. I am female, and your husband is, obviously male, so I'm not sure about gender effects with these medications. My rheumatologist wanted me to try methotrexate, but warned me that if I did I would have to use birth control. If I conceived on methotrexate, I would either miscarry or have such a deformed baby that the doctors would beg me to abort. Methotrexate, from what I understand, is often used to initiate abortion in pregnant females. For that reason, I refused to take methotrexate. The TNF-inhibitors (Enbrel, Humira, Remicade) do not affect fertility per se. My rheumatologist said they would not interfere with my getting pregnant; however, once I was pregnant, I would most likely have to stop taking them--because they don't know what they would do to a fetus. They are not as obviously toxic to a fetus as methotrexate. I would encourage your husband to call his rheumatologist and ask about the TNF-inhibitors and sperm counts/motility. Your husband shouldn't have to be in pain in order to conceive a child, and because RA can be so damaging, it might not be the wisest thing for him to be off his meds. Since you're talking about the DMARDs only, I assume that your husband has tried NSAIDS and they have failed? I believe there are some NSAIDS out there that would be appropriate for him to take and still conceive. I think your situation is fairly positive because your husband is the one taking the meds--it would be a different situation if you were the medicated one. In any case, your husband's doctor should know that you guys want to conceive. He/she would be in the best position to answer your questions about fertility.