According to a story from Reuters, a new website developed by the American Gastroenterological Association is meant to help women that have inflammatory bowel disease have safe and healthy pregnancies. Inflammatory bowel disease consists of Crohn’s disease, which is not considered rare, and ulcerative colitis, which is less common. Many women with these diseases may not think it is possible to have a normal pregnancy, but this website, called the IBD Parenthood Project, will help prepare patients as thoroughly as possible.
The site is primarily intended to be an educational tool that will help teach women how to manage their inflammatory bowel disease in a safe manner from conception to childbirth. Women with the disease are considered to be three times less likely to have kids and misconceptions about their ability to control inflammatory bowel disease can be a contributing factor.
There are some significant risks that can appear during pregnancy for women with the illness. If the patient is having trouble controlling the disease while pregnant, it can lead to problems. During a flare up the woman’s body may have to divide its reserves between the developing baby and the inflammation caused by inflammatory bowel disease. This can result in pre-term births, underweight babies, and even miscarriages.
There are not many resources out there for IBD patients that want to get pregnant and have children. Some patients may think that they have to stop taking medication entirely to avoid harming the developing child, but this is not always true.
The site includes useful resources such as a checklist of questions to ask doctors, fact sheets, and more. It may be necessary for a patient to switch medications to ensure a safe pregnancy, but the main goal is to avoid serious disease flare ups. Most health experts advise that a patient be in complete remission before trying to have a child. In fact, the site recommends that women should be in remission for at least three months in order to confirm that treatments are working effectively.
If you would like to learn more about the site, click here.