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Crohn's Disease and Pregnancy

Should Pregnant Women Undergo Testing for Crohn's Disease?

When you are pregnant and have Crohn's disease, you may safely undergo any of the following if they're needed:

  • colonoscopy
  • sigmoidoscopy
  • upper endoscopy
  • rectal biopsy
  • abdominal ultrasound

X-rays and CT (computed tomography) scans, though, should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans appear to be safe during pregnancy. 

What Is the Effect of Surgery for Crohn's Disease on Pregnancy?

Women who have had bowel resections (surgeries to remove part of the bowel) do not appear to have any problems during pregnancy. Women who have had ileostomies may have lower fertility rates. An ileostomy is a procedure in which the end of the small intestine is brought through a hole in the abdomen called a stoma. It's done so that waste may be emptied into a bag attached to the stoma. It may be best to wait for a year after this surgery to become pregnant in order to reduce the risk of the ileostomy dropping or becoming blocked during pregnancy.

Some women with Crohn's disease develop fistulas -- abnormal passageways between organs. If you have a fistula or an abscess -- a cavity filled with pus -- that's near the rectum and vaginal area you will likely be advised to deliver your baby by cesarean section, or C-section.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on August 29, 2013

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