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Crohn’s Disease and Risks of Pregnancy

Columnist Lisa Burks shares her research into how Crohn’s affects a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant whether it would be safe to do so.

I have mentioned in previous columns that support groups can help those living with Crohn’s disease. These groups can give you space to discuss everyday problems or concerns with others who have personal experiences you can relate to. A couple of weeks ago, I was looking at comments posted in the online support group, and one topic that was brought up was Crohn’s and pregnancy. Some of the most popular questions were whether someone with Crohn’s could become pregnant and if it would be safe. I decided to do some research on the topic.

Can you become pregnant with Crohn’s disease?

The answer is yes, you can. Some women asked if having the disease would make conceiving any harder. I’ve learned that, if the Crohn’s is in remission, the chances of becoming pregnant are the same as with someone who does not have the disease; however, if Crohn’s is active, it can make you less fertile. It is recommended that a woman be in remission for between three to six months before trying to conceive.

How well can Crohn’s be managed while pregnant?

Many studies have been conducted into controlling Crohn’s during pregnancy. If the woman is in remission when she conceivesshe is at no greater risk of flare-ups. The outcome is completely opposite if Crohn’s is active or flaring up when a woman becomes pregnant. Along with increased difficulty conceiving with active Crohn’s, oftentimes the mother will have greater chances of the disease staying active throughout.

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