WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (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 April 7 in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Han H. Lee, M.D., from The Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, and colleagues examined the incidence of pregnancy outcomes among 2,058 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 versus 32.3 percent). Women with Crohn disease had increased rates of cesarean section (46.5 versus 38.8 percent) and intrauterine growth retardation (3.0 versus 1.0 percent) 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 versus 69.9 percent) and higher rates of spontaneous abortion (14.9 versus 11.9 percent), cesarean section (46.4 versus 38.8 percent), and intrauterine growth retardation (3.4 versus 1.0 percent). Women with quiescent-to-mild IBD had similar outcomes to controls.

“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.”

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