Narrator : Emily Moore knew she wanted to start a family, but when she got the unexpected news she was pregnant with daughter Hallie, it nearly sent her into a panic.
Emily Moore: I called my O-B—I was like screaming at her on the phone…I was like, I think I'm pregnant I took this pregnancy test and you don't understand,I'm on medicine and I have Ulcerative Colitis and I was like, I need to come in right now.And she's like, okay calm down, the office is about to close—we can't have you now but we'll have you first thing Monday morning.
Narrator: As it turned out, the particular treatment that Emily was on was not one that would likely complicate her pregnancy.
Douglas C. Wolf, MD: Typically, the most important thing—for most medications—is for the patient to stay on the medications.
Narrator: And this common wisdom of managing symptoms as a first priority holds even for most of the more potent immuno-modulators and biologic agentsused to control moderate to severe cases of inflammatory bowel disease or I-B-D…
Douglas C. Wolf, MD: There are a couple of medications that need to be avoided in pregnancy—Methotrexate is one of them.
Narrator : Another is the oral immune-modulator, Thalidomide (tha-LID-oh-mide), which can also harm the fetus. Though thought to be less dangerous, antibiotics should also be avoided where possible.But a detailed conversation about your treatment plan with both your gastroenterologist and obstetrician is recommended.
Emily Moore: I would say for sure talk to your doctor first to make sure the meds that you're on are safe to begin with to get pregnant…I didn't do that—luckily mine were.
Narrator : Women with ulcerative colitis have a slightly higher risk of premature delivery or low birth weight. The key is getting your condition under control, if it's not already, before you conceive.
Douglas C. Wolf, MD: …Because women who go into pregnancy in remission, who are feeling well, have the best pregnancy outcomes—not only for them but for their baby too.
Narrator : Although discomforts like hemorrhoids can be more acute in some women, most with controlled I-B-D are as likely to have a normal pregnancy as those without the condition.Emily had a good pregnancy and remained flare-free throughout her early nursing period.
Douglas C. Wolf, MD : In the majority of cases if an expectant mother is doing well at the onset of pregnancy, she'll continue to do well through pregnancy.