The STAR Family Study: STarting a family when you have an Autoimmune Rheumatic disease

Welcome to the STAR Family Study website

Autoimmune rheumatic diseases include a range of inflammatory conditions that can affect the moving parts of the body such as joints and muscles. These include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, vasculitis and various types of inflammatory arthritis. People with these conditions would normally be under the care of a rheumatologist.

Autoimmune rheumatic diseases can affect women during their childbearing years. This raises a lot of important issues around the information and support that women have in relation to starting a family.

This might be about deciding on whether to have children, when the best time is to start a family, what happens if women have difficulties with starting a family, what medications are safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and how to manage symptoms like pain and fatigue during this time.

We sought to find out what women and health professionals think about the information and support that is already available, and how this could be improved.