Researchers from Denmark and Sweden compared fertility in females with ulcerative colitis (UC) before and after restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, with the fertility of the general population.
An historical follow-up was performed on 343 consecutive female UC patients, aged 11 to 41 years at surgery, and a reference population of 1200 women aged 25 to 40 years.
A total of 290 (85%) patients and 661 (55%) women in the reference population agreed to participate in the study.
| In UC females, surgery lowered fertility 5-fold, compared with the general population.
| Gastroenterology |
The team conducted a structured telephone interview, concerning reproductive behavior and waiting times to pregnancy.
It was found that surgery significantly reduced the ratio of patient to reference population fertility, which decreased to 0.20.
Before diagnosis, and from diagnosis until colectomy, the fertility of the patients was similar to that of the reference population.
Kasper Ørding Olsen, of the Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark, said on behalf of the group, "Female patients with ulcerative colitis have normal fertility before surgical treatment. However, surgery severely reduces female fertility."
"Information about this reduction in fertility should be given before surgery, and if a woman has an unfulfilled wish for pregnancy after surgery, early referral to a gynecologist is recommended," he concluded.