Disease-related pregnancy concerns and reproductive planning in women with inflammatory bowel diseases

Lori M. Gawron*, Adina R. Goldberger, Andrew J. Gawron, Cassing Hammond, Laurie Keefer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-277
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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