Lupus and Women

Lupus Image
Learn the basics of how lupus affects women’s health.

You have probably heard of lupus but if you or a loved one doesn’t suffer from it then you probably don’t know much about it. There are an estimated 1.5 million people in the United States that suffer from lupus. It can affect both males and females but approximately 9 out of 10 adults that have lupus are women1.

What is Lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect almost any organ in the body and the symptoms vary from person to person. This can sometimes make it difficult to recognize. There are also different types of lupus:

  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): affects all parts of the body
  • Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus: affects the skin only
  • Drug-Induced Lupus: short-term lupus that is caused by certain medications
  • Neonatal Lupus: a type of lupus that affects newborns

What are the Symptoms of Lupus?

The symptoms of lupus will vary for every person and may change over time. The symptoms of lupus can also frequently come and go. When someone has a lupus flare-up or exacerbation, their symptoms will be worse. Symptoms of lupus include:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Chest pain
  • Hair loss
  • Sun or light sensitivity
  • Kidney problems
  • Mouth sores
  • Prolonged or extreme fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Memory problems
  • Blood clotting
  • Eye disease

What Causes Lupus?

It is unknown what the exact cause of lupus is but it is suspected that genetics, environment, hormones, and / or the immune system play roles in causing lupus.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Lupus

It can be difficult to get a lupus diagnosis because of the array of severity and symptoms. Some people may have mild symptoms while others have severe symptoms. Diagnosis will usually involve an exam, blood tests, and urine tests.

There is no cure for lupus but medication can be prescribed to help manage it and prevent flare-ups. The type of medication prescribed will depend on your specific symptoms.

Lupus and Pregnancy

Women with lupus can get pregnant and have children but they are considered a high-risk pregnancy because problems during pregnancy are more likely. A pregnant woman is more likely to have lupus flare-ups, preeclampsia, and other issues.

To learn more about women and lupus click here to visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website on women’s health.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, contact us here today!


  1. Lupus. Lupus | Office on Women’s Health. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2022

Posted in: Women's Health

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