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Br J Surg. 2007 Apr;94(4):478-82.

Female fertility and childbirth after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for ulcerative colitis.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.



The aim of this study was to calculate the probability of becoming pregnant after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) for ulcerative colitis, and to evaluate complications during pregnancy and childbirth.


A questionnaire was posted to 160 women with an IPAA and to 160 controls. The probability of becoming pregnant after IPAA was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method.


Of 54 women who had undergone IPAA surgery, 36 (67 per cent) succeeded in becoming pregnant naturally, compared with 49 (82 per cent) of 60 controls. The probability of pregnancy after 2 years of trying was 56 per cent in the IPAA group and 91 per cent in the control group (P < 0.001). Women in the IPAA group needed infertility investigations more often (24 versus 10 per cent; P = 0.044). In all, 39 (72 per cent) women in the IPAA group and 53 (88 per cent) in the control group bore a child. Twenty-one of 39 women in the IPAA group and 13 of 53 in the control group had a caesarean section (P = 0.005). Anal incontinence after delivery occurred more often in the control group.


Women with an IPAA mostly suffer a reduction in the probability of conception rather than complete infertility. Because complications during pregnancy and delivery were rare, caesarean section should be based mainly on obstetric indications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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