Everyone will experience pain at some point in their lives. Pain is a necessary form of protection against injuries, diseases, or conditions that would otherwise impair or even kill us. Pain alerts us that something is wrong. Pain can be either 'acute' or 'chronic' - the distinguishing characteristic between the two is their duration. ...[Read more]
Crohns Disease and Pregnancy
Women with Crohn's disease who are considering having children can be comforted to know that the vast majority of such pregnancies will result in normal children. Research has shown that the course of pregnancy and delivery is usually not impaired in women with Crohn's disease. Pregnancy is a trying time for all women. The added stress, the complicated health issues and the additional weight can be overwhelming for many. But when you add in severe health problems like Crohn's disease, the stress levels can reach unhealthy levels.
So, what effects does Crohn's disease have on pregnancy and what does this mean for the health of the baby? Studies have shown that most women or couples who have an active case of Crohn's (they regularly get flare-ups) may have trouble even conceiving. A common drug used to treat Crohn's called sulfasalzine may render men temporarily infertile. There are less common medications available for men who are looking to conceive so consult your doctor to get switched to a treatment that won't damage your sperm count. What are the symptoms? The most common symptoms of Crohn's disease are abdominal pain, often in the lower right area, and diarrhea. Rectal bleeding, weight loss, arthritis, skin problems, and fever may also occur.
Bleeding may be serious and persistent, leading to anemia. Children with Crohn's disease may suffer delayed development and stunted growth. The range and severity of symptoms varies.
Most women who have Crohn's are able to carry their baby to a full-term pregnancy and have a healthy boy or girl, but there are some direct links between Crohn's disease and problems which could potentially crop up. Since Crohn's is responsible for causing ulcers and abscesses in the body, women who may have these in the birth canal or in the vagina may need to have a caesarean section birth. Crohn's has been linked to a higher rate of miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth at a rate of two to three times. There are also links between a worsening of symptoms directly after becoming pregnant and during the first trimester. Some women also experience a severe flare-up immediately after giving birth. The one thing to keep in mind is that every case of Crohn's is different and every pregnancy is different, as well.
There is no link at this time that says if you have severe Crohn's related symptoms during one pregnancy that you'll have them during your next one, too. One of the most important aspects to having a healthy baby is eating a proper diet. As everyone knows, a woman's diet changes dramatically during pregnancy, but diet can be a main trigger to Crohn's flair-ups. So how to rectify the two? The best thing to do is to consult your doctors and remember, if you are treating your Crohn's with sulfasalazine, take folic acid to help prevent birth defects.
Most likely, your doctor and obstetrician will recommend a few special foods and an increased vitamin and mineral supplement plan. Nutrition and pregnancy As a pregnant woman, it is important to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. As a pregnant woman with Crohn's disease, your obstetrician and gastroenterologist may recommend special foods, vitamins, and minerals in conjunction with your regular diet. Women with Crohn's disease who are pregnant or who plan to become pregnant should speak to their gastroenterologist or obstetrician.
And remember, every pregnancy is unique. If you do experience difficulties during one pregnancy, that doesn't mean future pregnancies will be difficult.
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