Many RA medications are teratogenic, which means they disturb the development of a human embryo or fetus. Pregnancies conceived during the use of these medications have a higher rate of miscarriage. Women then face the difficult decision of whether to continue the pregnancy.

In a study of birth control methods use by pre- menopausal women with RA, 29% reported using ineffective birth control methods. The results of this small study emphasize the important role rheumatologists can play in making sure that patients taking teratogenic medications do not become pregnant.