Doctors Should Talk About Pregnancy to Women with IBD, Study Suggests

Doctors Should Talk About Pregnancy to Women with IBD, Study Suggests
Researchers recommend healthcare professionals talk to women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) about pregnancy early in their treatment so they can make a well-informed decision about whether to have children. The study, “When Your Pregnancy Echoes Your Illness: Transition to Motherhood With Inflammatory Bowel Disease,” was published in the journal Qualitative Health Research. Findings resulted from the joint work of researchers from the University of Leeds and the University of Bradford, both in the United Kingdom. Most women with IBD, which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, can have a normal pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic illness, which means patients will likely experience times when the disease flares up and causes symptoms, followed by periods of remission when patients may not notice symptoms at all. There is a genetic predisposition for IBD, and first-degree relatives of patients are approximately three to 20 times more likely to develop IBD compared with the general population. Women with IBD are usually worried about the activity of their disease during pregnancy, passing the disorder on to their unborn child, and the effect of their underlying IBD on the pregnancy itself. Because of this, women with the condition often avoid having children. Research suggests that women should attempt conception at a time when their IBD is in remission. Female pati
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