Dr Míriam Mañosa from Spain assessed the impact of inflammatory bowel disease and its treatment on fertility, pregnancy outcomes, and breastfeeding.
Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that is usually diagnosed in young adulthood.
Patients are often concerned about fertility and pregnancy outcomes.
A structured questionnaire was posted to 850 adults with inflammatory bowel disease followed-up on in a single center.
The research team evaluated a total of 503 patients with a median age of 40 years and equally distributed for gender and type of inflammatory bowel disease returned the questionnaire.
Overall, 71% of the patients had a total of 659 children, 36% of whom were born after the diagnosis.
The team of doctors reported that a total of 132 miscarriages were registered, 46% after the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease .
Most childless patients stated that having no children was a personal decision, and only 6% of them were evaluated and diagnosed with infertility.
|6% of patients were evaluated and diagnosed with infertility|
|Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology |
The researchers found that pregnancies after diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease had a higher probability of caesarean section and preterm delivery.
Inflammatory bowel disease-related drug therapy was discontinued in 16% of the pregnancies, mainly as a result of medical advice.
The doctors reported that babies born after the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease were less often breastfed.
Dr Miriam's team commented, "The infertility rate among inflammatory bowel disease patients seems to be similar to that seen in the general population."
"However, a large proportion of patients chose to remain childless."
"Vaginal delivery and breastfeeding are less likely to occur in babies born after the diagnosis."
"Suitable information for patients to avoid unwarranted concerns about adverse reproductive outcomes, as well as improved obstetrical and perinatal management, still seems to be necessary."