The New Year is often a time for resolutions, setting goals and embarking on life-changes. For women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who are considering becoming pregnant, however, the start of a new year can be a time of frustration, confusion and fear about how their disease may impact their ability to have a healthy pregnancy. To change this, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) will launch the IBD Parenthood Project, which includes a new online resource, aiming to address misperceptions and fears women with IBD and their health care providers (HCPs) experience throughout all phases of family planning in January 2019.
Many women with IBD decide not to have children based on misperceptions about their disease and pregnancy. In fact, the number of women with IBD who are voluntarily childless is three times greater than that of the general population. For these women, one of the greatest known risks to a healthy pregnancy is an IBD flare, yet many are unsure of whether medication is appropriate to take during pregnancy. In fact, a recent survey by AGA of 286 women in the U.S. diagnosed with IBD who are trying to conceive, are pregnant, or have had a child in the past 12 months