HealthDay News — Women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have lower pregnancy rates, and those with uncontrolled disease are at increased risk for adverse outcomes, according to a study published online in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Han H. Lee, MD, from The Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, and colleagues examined the incidence of pregnancy outcomes among 2058 pregnant women with IBD in the Korean National Health Insurance claims database between 2007 and 2016 and compared outcomes to those of 20,580 age-matched control women without IBD.

The researchers found that women with IBD had lower rates of pregnancy compared with non-IBD controls (25.7% vs 32.3%). Women with Crohn disease had increased rates of cesarean section (46.5% vs 38.8 %) and intrauterine growth retardation (3.0% vs 1.0%) compared with controls. Disease severity was also linked to pregnancy outcomes: Women with moderate to severe disease had a lower live birth rate (65.0% vs 69.9%) and higher rates of spontaneous abortion (14.9% vs 11.9%), cesarean section (46.4% vs 38.8%), and intrauterine growth retardation (3.4% vs 1.0%). Women with quiescent-to-mild IBD had similar outcomes to controls.

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“Although the risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes are increased in patients with moderate to severe disease, women with quiescent to mild disease have similar pregnancy outcomes [compared] to those of non-IBD controls,” the authors write. “Therefore, we suggest that women with IBD who are preparing for pregnancy should be treated more intensively by physicians to reach a remission stage in the disease.”

Abstract/Full Text