Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare systemic autoimmune disease that can influence reproductive health. SSc has a strong female predominance, and the disease onset can occur during fertility age in almost 50% of patients. Preconception counseling, adjustment of treatment, and close surveillance during pregnancy by a multidisciplinary team, are key points to minimize fetal and maternal risks and favor successful pregnancy outcomes. The rates of spontaneous pregnancy losses are comparable to those of the general obstetric population, except for patients with diffuse cutaneous SSc and severe internal organ involvement who may carry a higher risk of abortion. Preterm birth can frequently occur in women with SSc, as it happens in other rheumatic diseases. Overall disease activity generally remains stable during pregnancy, but particular attention should be paid to women with major organ disease, such as renal and cardiopulmonary involvement. Women with such severe involvement should be thoroughly informed about the risks during pregnancy and possibly discouraged from getting pregnant. A high frequency of sexual dysfunction has been described among SSc patients, both in females and in males, and pathogenic mechanisms of SSc may play a fundamental role in determining this impairment. Fertility is overall normal in SSc women, while no studies in the literature have investigated fertility in SSc male patients. Nevertheless, some considerations regarding the impact of some immunosuppressive drugs should be done with male patients, referring to the knowledge gained in other rheumatic diseases.
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