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Disease-related pregnancy concerns and reproductive planning in women with inflammatory bowel diseases
  1. Lori M Gawron1,
  2. Adina R Goldberger2,
  3. Andrew J Gawron3,
  4. Cassing Hammond4,
  5. Laurie Keefer5
  1. 1Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  2. 2Medical Student, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
  3. 3Assistant Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  4. 4Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
  5. 5Associate Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lori M Gawron, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah, 30n 1900e Room 2B-200, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA; lori.gawron{at}hsc.utah.edu

Abstract

Background Women with inflammatory bowel diseases (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.

Aim To explore the effect of disease-related pregnancy concerns on parity and reproductive planning in a subset of women with IBD.

Design and setting Cross-sectional qualitative phone survey in an academic gastroenterology practice.

Methods Questions included demographics, medical and reproductive history, future pregnancy plans, and if IBD affected pregnancy decision-making. Qualitative data were coded and frequencies and proportions calculated.

Results The 129 female participants (31% response rate) were predominately white (85%), had at least some college education (97%) and a mean age of 34.3 years [standard deviation 6.2]. 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 desired a future pregnancy and had IBD-related concerns had higher parity than those without concerns (p=0.02). Women desiring a future pregnancy and those with Crohn's disease had increased IBD-related concerns. Only four (3.1%) women identified IBD-related concerns that led to a smaller family size than desired.

Conclusions IBD-related concerns appear to be less likely to affect a woman's planned family size than previously reported. Concern about adverse pregnancy outcomes is more common in women with Crohn's disease and those desiring future pregnancy, suggesting a need for targeted counselling to moderate risk perception.

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