Women with IBD endorse disease-related pregnancy concerns that influence parity. Improvements in IBD management have potentially altered reproductive planning. Additionally, the proportion of American women who choose not to have children is increasing.
Researchers did this study to explore the effect of disease-related pregnancy concerns on parity and reproductive planning in a subset of women with IBD. The present study is a cross-sectional qualitative phone survey in academic gastroenterology practice.
The 129 female participants were predominately white, had at least some college education, and a mean age of 34.3 years. Some 60% had Crohn’s disease, and 30% had undergone IBD-related surgery. Half were nulliparae, 53% reported IBD-related pregnancy concerns, and 57% desired future pregnancy. Women who chose a future pregnancy and had IBD-related problems had higher parity than those without worries. Women wanting a future pregnancy and those with Crohn’s disease had increased IBD-related concerns. Only four women identified IBD-related fears that led to a smaller family size than expected.
The study concluded that IBD-related concerns appear to be less likely to affect a woman’s planned family size than previously reported.