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Semin Gastrointest Dis. 2001 Oct;12(4):245-52.

Management of inflammatory bowel disease during pregnancy and nursing.

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Gastroenterology Division, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hopital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The peak age of onset for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) coincides with the peak age for conception and pregnancy, and gastroenterologists will frequently be called on to treat pregnant IBD patients. The greatest threat to a normal conception and pregnancy is active disease, not active medicine. The majority of IBD medications are safe in pregnancy and nursing and should be used as needed. When in remission, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease usually do not affect fertility. Fertility may be impaired, however, by pelvic adhesions and scarring from old operations or disease. Pregnant IBD patients should be followed in a facility where diagnostic tests, such as sigmoidoscopy and ultrasound, and surgery can be performed if necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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