Can Psoriatic Arthritis Cause Infertility?

One of common complications from psoriasis is arthritis (psoriatic arthritis). In most cases, the skin problems associated with psoriasis occur before the joint problems. However in a few cases, the joint problems can be noticed before skin lesions appear. Another interesting issue is about whether the disease has an effect in causing fertility problems or even infertility!

How does psoriatic arthritis develop?

Your chance of developing it increases if you have some of the following risk factors:

  1. Psoriasis (one of common chronic skin conditions). Psoriatic arthritis is one of the complications from psoriasis, as noted before. Even experts put it as the greatest risk factor of the disease – especially for those with psoriasis on the nails.
  2. The age! The problem can occur at any age, however it is more likely to occur between the ages of 30 -50.
  3. Having a family history of the same problem – if you have a parent or a sibling with psoriatic arthritis, you are at greater risk of developing the same problem.

The exactly answer of how and why psoriasis develops is unclear yet, the same goes for psoriatic arthritis. However many experts believe that the abnormality of the body immune system may play a key role.

Normally, the immune system is essential to help the body fight against harmful substances. But in people with this disease, the immune system attacks the wrong objects such as healthy tissues or healthy cells.

Then the wrong respond of the body immune system causes overproduction of new skin cells and in some cases may also cause inflammation in the joints.

Unfortunately, the reason of why the body immune system attacks & turns on healthy cells is still not fully understood. Some experts speculate that some environmental factors and genetic trait may play a role.

What are the common causes of infertility?

There are lots of factors or possible causes which then eventually can cause infertility in women and men. In other words, the cause of the problem can vary.

The statistics show that about 1/3 of cases is caused by male fertility problem, 1/3 of cases due to female fertility problem, and the problem comes from both for the remaining cases.

image_illustration153Generally, the following are some conditions /factors that can affect female fertility:

  1. Problems that affect the female reproductive organs. These include early menopause (such as primary ovary insufficiency), endometriosis (a condition of endometrial tissues that grow /implant outside of uterus), uterine abnormalities, problems of fallopian tube, and problems of ovulation.
  2. Cancer, especially one that affect the female reproductive system. While cancer itself has an effect, the treatment for cancer also can affect fertility.
  3. Thyroid problems (both too little (hypothyroid) and too much production of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroid)). The thyroid hormone can affect the cycle of female menstruation.
  4. Other conditions that may affect the menstrual cycle such as celiac disease, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, kidney disease, and sickle cell disease.
  5. Genetic abnormality may also have an effect to make a woman less likely to get a conception.
  6. The use of certain medications may cause temporary infertility. If you are taking certain medication and you think that it may affect your fertility, ask your doctor for more advice!

And in men, the following are some common conditions /factors that can have an effect in their fertility:

  1. Abnormally sperm function /production. This includes poor sperm quantity and quality. For more detailed information about sperm count, visit this section!
  2. Problems in delivering sperm, such as premature ejaculation.
  3. Overexposure to harmful substances such as steroids, tobacco smoke, or alcohol.
  4. Some health conditions such as cancer & its treatment.

Does psoriatic arthritis cause infertility?

In general, there is no connection between having psoriatic psoriasis and your chance of getting a conception for a pregnancy.

However, there are some issues you should know to improve your chance of getting a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child.