Despite the risk of complications, women with IBD can have a healthy pregnancy

Treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has changed dramatically in the past two decades, largely due to biopharmaceuticals, which help people with ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) ward off seizures.

But despite major strides in treatment, pregnant women with IBD remain at high risk of developing complications, according to research presented at the Digestive Diseases Week 2022 conference in San Diego last week.

Research on this topic has been sparse, largely because it’s considered too risky to conduct clinical trials on pregnant women, says Anushka Dua, MD, a resident of internal medicine at UCLA who specializes in gastroenterology and IBD, who led The new study team.

One thing doctors definitely understand, Dr. Dua says, is that keeping inflammation under control throughout pregnancy — from conception to delivery — can significantly reduce pregnancy risks.

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