Crohn's and Pregnancy
Research shows that the course of most pregnancies and deliveries are not impaired in pregnant women with Crohn's disease. However, women with active Crohn's disease at the time of conception may have an increased risk for a spontaneous abortion. Women with the condition who are thinking about becoming pregnant should discuss their situation with their healthcare provider.
Women with inactive Crohn's disease do not seem to have fertility problems related to the disease. In one study, infertility was seen in 12 percent of women with Crohn's disease. This is similar to infertility rates seen in the general population. Women who do appear to have decreased fertility rates are those with active Crohn's disease who have had an ileoanal pouch anastomosis.
Research has shown that, in women with Crohn's disease, the course of pregnancy and delivery is usually not impaired.
Women who have inactive Crohn's disease at the time of conception are no more likely to have a flare-up of their disease during pregnancy than if they were not pregnant. Flare-ups are more likely to occur in the first trimester and right after the baby is born.
However, women with active Crohn's disease at the time of conception may have an increased risk of a spontaneous abortion. In one study, the rate of spontaneous abortion in women with active Crohn's disease was 35 percent.
Most medications used for Crohn's disease (see Crohn's Disease Medications) and other inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are safe or likely safe in pregnancy. Surgery, if necessary, is safest in the second trimester.
Pre-term birth or early delivery appears to be two to three times more common in women with an IBD, although most children born to women with IBD are unaffected.
Women with Crohn's disease should discuss pregnancy issues with their doctor before becoming pregnant.