Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is most commonly diagnosed in young adulthood, leading women with IBD to have questions about how it may affect starting a family.
“The good news is that women with IBD don’t have differences in fertility rates. The most important thing is to get your disease under control before you get pregnant and to optimize disease control throughout pregnancy,” says Dr. Cynthia Seow, a specialist in pregnancy and IBD.
The good news is that women with IBD don’t have differences in fertility rates.Dr. Cynthia Seow
Healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby
Dr. Seow says innovation in IBD treatments has helped to ensure that safe options are available for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
“If you need medication to control your disease, that’s going to be the best thing for you and your baby,” she says. “Talk to your health care provider about your options. Work closely with your gastroenterologist and obstetrician during preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum. The most important message is that you can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby when you live with IBD.”
Mina Mawani, President and CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, agrees that when thinking about having a baby, the best place to start is understanding the state of your disease through a visit to your health care provider.
“Your doctor may request tests or procedures to ensure you time your pregnancy at a point when your disease is controlled or in remission,” she says. “You can ask questions about how to prevent disease flare-ups and how to ensure you’re in your best health during pregnancy. It’s important to have the latest information to make informed decisions for you and your loved ones.”
Speak to your gastroenterologist about safe IBD treatment options while pregnant or breastfeeding.
This article was made possible with support from a research-based biopharmaceutical company.