JIA recurrence following pregnancy

HI everyone, I'm new to this forum and thought I'd post my story in case anyone has had a similar experience and can give any advice

I was diagnosed with JIA aged 11 following years of eye problems. It only affected one joint - my right knee - and was never a massive problem. It came and went for a few years then i went into remission for a long time. I'd almost forgotten about it!

I am 39 and have recently had two children. My JIA has flared up in the same knee joint worse than its ever been, and then appeared in my left knee too. Lots of swelling and stiffness, but not much pain thankfully. The main issue i have is lack of mobility with the kids, and some days i struggle to walk (major problem given i dont drive due to eye problems!)

I've had steroid injections twice now that have given some relief but the swelling just keeps coming back. I will soon be starting on methotrexate.

My question is, has anyone else had flare ups following having children? or perhaps approaching age of perimenopause? Should i wait and see if it clears up on its own before starting methotrexate? Does anyone have any tips for reducing swelling and stiffness - exercise, supplements, ibuprofen, turmeric etc?




  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,565
    edited 23. Jan 2024, 14:15

    Hello @vazzamataz

    Welcome to the online community I am not a helpline person, but wanted to call in and say something while you wait for their reply.

    I see from your post that your Arthritis which has been in remission is back with a vengeance following childbirth.

    Unfortunately this does happen to some women you are definitely not alone.

    I did a quick search and got the following threads:

    I'll leave you in the hands of the helpline staff now

    Best wishes


  • Hi@vazzamataz

    Thanks for your post to the Helpline.

    Sorry to hear that your Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) has come back into your life.

    The Rheumatologist may have explored the option to see if your condition was going to calm down of its own accord after they had given you the steroid injections. But it sounds as though that may not have happened in your case.

    The difficulty with 'wait and see' is that each time the inflammation happens it can do further damage.

    Research shows that treating with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) can reduce the risk of damage to joints and systems in the body. This does depend on working with the Rheumatology team as they find a treatment which works with each person's particular immune system.

    It's only human to want to think over the decision to begin treatment. If you feel you'd like to talk over the pros and cons of treatment, you'd be very welcome to ring us for some informal support. Your Rheumatology Nurse Specialist is a key person who can talk to you about this from a medical point of view.

    I know that folk on some of the forums here will be ready to support you - the Living with arthritis forum might be an excellent place to post.

    Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) | Symptoms, treatments (versusarthritis.org)

    I hope that's helpful

    Guy - Helpline Team

  • Hi@vazzamataz

    I forgot to attach some further information.

    Exercising with arthritis | Top tips, specific exercises (versusarthritis.org)

    The clinical effectiveness of supplements is not particularly encouraging in relation to the auto-immune inflammatory conditions. The information we have on this is quite old now. We are hoping that this information will be updated in the future.

    Here's a link to the old publication:

    Complementary and alternative medicines report (versusarthritis.org)

    All the best

    Guy - Helpline Team