How Long After Methotrexate Can I Get Pregnant (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 Month

Methotrexate is a part of medicinal drugs called “Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug” or DMARD. The main use of this medicine is to reduce the immune system activity in the body which is needed in certain conditions.

Even though the immune system is the protector of the body, sometimes in unusual conditions, it can attack the joints mistakenly and can cause pain.

It is commonly used to treat patients who have arthritis and other related diseases like vasculitis, myositis, and systemic sclerosis, etc. It can also be given to children who have localized scleroderma.

It is also used to treat cancer but the dose given to cancer patients is much higher than that given to the patients who have arthritis.

How Long After Methotrexate Can I Get Pregnant?

Methotrexate should be avoided at all costs b the couple who is pregnant or is trying for pregnancy as the medicine can cause harm to the fetus, developing.

For males, it is recommended that they should wait at least 3 months to try for conceiving after stopping methotrexate dosage. However, for women, it is said that they should complete one full cycle of ovulation after stopping the medicine to try to conceive.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that if one of the partners is on methotrexate, then they should not try conceiving as it would cause complications later. Methotrexate is not given to pregnant women for the same reason.

Methotrexate reduces the immune response of the body and limits the presence of folic acid. Folic acid is a very important aspect that plays a role in the growth of the fetus.

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Taking methotrexate during pregnancy can result in certain birth abnormalities such as a cleft palate, abnormalities in teeth and bones, and defects in the neural tube which affects the spinal cord and the brain. It can also result in abnormal skull development.

Methotrexate should not be taken while breastfeeding too as it can harm the child. It can cause serious gastrointestinal problems in the child who is being breastfed. It can also give rise to certain blood disorders like reducing the levels of blood cells. Hence, if the child gets low white blood cells, they are more prone to infections and diseases which could prove dangerous later on.

SexTime Needed After Methotrexate
Men3 Months
WomenOne Complete Ovulation Cycle

Why Can I get Pregnant A Month After Methotrexate?

Methotrexate is used to treat certain conditions like arthritis which needs the body to slow down its immune system to cause less inflammation and swelling in joints. However, taking methotrexate during or before pregnancy can cause serious harm to the fetus, and the child.

Folic acid is necessary for the growth of the fetus and methotrexate limits the amounts of folic acid in the body. This can cause damage to the growth of the baby in the womb. Methotrexate can cause serious abnormalities in the birth of the child. Some of it could be the abnormal size of the skull, abnormalities in teeth and collarbones, and defects in the neural tube which can cause damage to the spinal cord and brain.

Even after giving birth, women should not take methotrexate during breastfeeding as it can get to the child and cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and vomiting. It can also make the child prone to infections due to the condition of fewer blood cells if the white blood cells decrease.

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There is a condition called ectopic pregnancy in which doctors use Methotrexate to stop the growth of the fetus. The condition is dangerous and needs growth to stop because, in this situation, the fertilized egg is planted outside the womb. This can give rise to complications like infertility, internal bleeding, and in extreme cases, even death.

If the pregnant woman has a condition that needs methotrexate-like treatment, doctors can put them on alternative medicines such as azathioprine or cyclosporine.

Conclusion

Methotrexate is a medicinal drug that is commonly used to treat various types of arthritis and sometimes cancer, however, the doses are different for both diseases.

It reduces the working of the immune system to cause less inflammation and swelling in the joints; however, it also limits the presence of folic acid in the body. Folic acid is needed for the growth of the fetus and hence, methotrexate is not recommended for partners who are trying for pregnancy or are pregnant as it can give rise to birth abnormalities. Men can try to conceive after 3 months of stopping methotrexate and women can try after one complete ovulation cycle.

Methotrexate is not recommended to mothers who are breastfeeding their children as it can cause various diseases in the child such as diarrhea and vomiting.

References

  1. https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/treatments/drugs/methotrexate/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/rheumatoid-arthritis/methotrexate-during-pregnancy#safe-alternatives
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325549#becoming-pregnant-while-taking-methotrexate
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