Somewhat surprisingly, women with rheumatoid arthritis have reported improved symptoms during pregnancy, which often leads to a reduced need for medications. After delivery, however, the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may flare up once again. “According to one review, approximately 70 percent of patients with rheumatoid arthritis experienced substantial improvements in disease activity during pregnancy,” says Dr. Sanmaan Basraon, in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at UTMB. "Most of these patients no longer required medications," Basraon continues. “But more than 90 percent of women relapsed within six to eight months [after childbirth]. Thirty percent of patients experienced no change or worsening of symptoms during pregnancy.”