Gut 52:159-161 doi:10.1136/gut.52.2.159
  • Leading article

Inflammatory bowel disease in pregnancy

  1. E M Alstead1,
  2. C Nelson-Piercy2
  1. 1Bart's and the London School of Medicine, and Whipps Cross University Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Guys and St Thomas's Hospital Trust, and Whipps Cross University Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    E M Alstead, Digestive Disease Research Centre, Bart's and the Royal London School of Medicine, Whitechapel, London E1 2AD, UK;
  • Accepted 24 October 2002


Women and men with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) frequently express concerns about fertility and pregnancy. The evidence suggests that women with IBD can expect to have a normal pregnancy outcome provided they have inactive disease. They have an increased risk of having a small or premature baby but the majority will have a normal outcome of pregnancy. The commonly used drugs appear to be safe and well tolerated in pregnancy. There remains a need for further studies in this area to help in the difficult decisions about the management of IBD around the time of conception and during pregnancy.


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