Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are most commonly diagnosed for the first time in people aged 15-35. This tends to coincide with the time in life when people are thinking about starting a family.
Most people with IBD are able to have children and raise a family although there can be a few additional challenges
It is important to know at the outset that most people with IBD are able to have children and raise a family although there can be a few additional challenges.
Generally speaking, IBD has no direct effect on fertility in either males or females. But there are instances where the medications or surgery used to treat IBD, or where the impact of IBD on a person’s general health, can cause a temporary but usually reversible reduction in fertility.
The single most important element to achieving a successful pregnancy and delivery is to have your IBD under control, ideally before you attempt to become pregnant and also throughout the pregnancy.
It is always a good idea to raise any questions or concerns you may have with your clinical team, including your gynaecologist. Medical and surgical treatment can be tailored to suit your own personal circumstances,.
Most women with IBD have normal pregnancies and normal deliveries. Problems during pregnancy are most likely to occur in women with active Crohn’s disease who may experience a greater risk of spontaneous miscarriage, premature delivery or stillbirth.
It is important to remember, however, that these complications of pregnancy are uncommon and that the majority of women with Crohn’s disease experience normal healthy pregnancies, especially if their disease is in remission at the time of conception.
For more information, see The Inside Story: A Toolkit for Living Well with IBD available in the Members Only section of the website.