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The Effects of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis on Pregnancy

Updated: Dec 24, 2023

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis can affect pregnancy, and vice versa. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Fertility: Women with IBD can have reduced fertility, especially if they have an active disease or have had surgery. However, with appropriate treatment and management, most women with IBD can conceive and carry a healthy pregnancy.

2. Pregnancy outcomes: Women with IBD may be at increased risk of certain pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and cesarean delivery. However, most women with IBD have successful pregnancies and healthy babies.

3. Disease activity: Women with IBD may experience changes in disease activity during pregnancy. In general, about one-third of women experience improvement in symptoms, one-third experience worsening of symptoms, and one-third have stable disease during pregnancy. It's important for women with IBD to work closely with their healthcare providers to manage their disease during pregnancy.

4. Medications: Some medications used to treat IBD may not be safe during pregnancy, while others are considered safe. Women who are dealing with Crohn's disease or Ulcerative colitis should talk to their healthcare providers before becoming pregnant or as soon as they learn they are pregnant to discuss the safety of their medications and make any necessary changes to their treatment plan.

Even though there is an effect of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis on pregnancy, with appropriate management and care you can have a successful pregnancy even while dealing with Crohn's or Ulcerative colitis. In order to make sure you consume the right diet, live the right lifestyle, and take the right supplements, it's important to work closely with a qualified Naturopath before, during, and after pregnancy. This will help you manage your disease and ensure the best possible outcomes for yourself and your baby.

There are some natural treatments that may be helpful for managing the effects of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis on pregnancy. Here are some natural treatment options that may be considered:

1. Dietary changes: Some people with IBD find that certain foods can trigger symptoms. Over the course of your pregnancy, it's important to maintain a healthy diet that is rich in nutrients and fiber. During the Naturopathic process, we work together to develop a healthy eating plan that is tailored to your needs.

2. Probiotics: Probiotics are live bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut microbiome. Some studies have suggested that probiotics may be helpful for managing symptoms of IBD. However, it's important to choose a probiotic that is safe for pregnancy and to consult a professional Naturopathic practitioner before starting any new supplements.

3. Mind-body techniques: Stress and anxiety can trigger symptoms of IBD. Mind-body techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises may be helpful for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

4. Herbal supplements: Some herbs such as aloe vera, turmeric, and slippery elm may have anti-inflammatory properties and may be helpful for managing symptoms of IBD. However, many herbal supplements are not well studied during pregnancy and may not be safe. It's important to talk to your Naturopathic practitioner before starting any new herbal supplements.

As a digestive Naturopath who specializes in the natural treatment of Crohn's, Ulcerative colitis, and many other digestive disorders, I work closely with many women to help them manage their symptoms during pregnancy. So if you are pregnant, or considering pregnancy, I can help you develop a treatment plan that is safe and effective for you and your baby.

Crohn's, colitis and pregnency
IBD and pregnancy


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