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Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Pregnancy Part 1

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

This Article from OTISpregnancy.org talks about inflammatory bowel disease and pregnancy. With each pregnancy, all women have a 3% to 5% chance of having a baby with a birth defect. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your health care provider.

 What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss, among others. Both conditions involve serious intestinal inflammation. Some individuals may need surgery during the course of their disease. IBD often affects women during their child bearing years.

 I have IBD and I am thinking of becoming pregnant. Will my disease make it harder for me to become pregnant?

Women with ulcerative colitis and inactive Crohn’s disease are as likely to become pregnant as women without IBD. Active Crohn’s disease may decrease the ability to become pregnant by increasing inflammation in the pelvic organs. It may be more difficult to become pregnant if you have had surgery for IBD, as the surgery may have caused scar tissue to form in the pelvic region and around the fallopian tubes.

 How will pregnancy affect my symptoms?

The effects can vary. Women who are in remission from their Crohn’s disease at the start of pregnancy may have no change in symptoms, an improvement of symptoms, or a worsening of symptoms. For women whose symptoms are active at the time of conception, 75% will continue to have active disease throughout pregnancy. Cigarette smoking may also increase disease symptoms.

Ulcerative colitis may become more active in the first or second trimester. However, some women will see their symptoms improve early in pregnancy. For women whose ulcerative colitis is active at conception, half will have worsening of symptoms during pregnancy.

 I have IBD and I am newly pregnant. Do I have a higher chance of miscarriage because of my medical condition?

In women whose IBD is inactive, the risk for miscarriage should not be significantly increased over the population risk. However, the risk may be greater with increase in severity of the condition. In severe IBD, the rate of miscarriage may be as high as 60%.

 More information on Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Pregnancy Part 2…



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