Lupus is very different for each person and symptoms vary, both in kind and in severity, greatly not only from patient to patient, but also from time to time in the same patient. Lupus can affect ANY part of the body. Some scientists believe there may be a link between estrogen and Lupus. Because of this they recommend that Lupus patients do not use estrogen containing birth control methods. Lupus patients have a much greater risk for miscarriage and high risk pregnancies than the normal population. Patients with the antiphospholipid antibody, in particular, are at greater risk for miscarriage. If you are hoping to become pregnant, you should discuss this thoroughly with your Rheumatologist and your OB/GYN.
Some of the treatments used in Lupus can cause infertility such as Cytoxan. Family planning should be discussed before beginning any aggressive immunosuppressive therapy.
Lupus patients can get ulcers similar to the ones they get in their mouth or nose in their genital area. Discoid lesions as well as Bullous SLE lesions in the genital area also occur. Fungal infections secondary to immunosupression is also common.
Between the chronic pain, and fatigue, and the stresses of dealing with chronic illness loss of sexual desire is very common in Lupus. Also many of the medications used to treat Lupus, particularly anti-depressants list loss of sexual desire as a side effect.
Sometimes referred to as early menopause, Premature Ovarian Failure is defined as Amenorrhea (cessation of periods) before age 40 due to failure of the ovaries. One of the causes of this is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Patients with this condition go through all the symptoms of menopause at a very young age sometimes as young as in their teens.
I hope that this has answered your question. Please let me know if you need anything further.
Peace and Blessings
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