The surgical resection rates among parous women with distal ileal and colonic Crohn's disease have been compared with resection rates among distal ileal (n = 197) and colonic (n = 332) Crohn's disease patients. Thirty of 44 parous women with distal ileal Crohn's disease and 28 of 44 with colonic Crohn's disease had achieved their first pregnancy on average 8 years and 6.2 years respectively before the diagnosis of Crohn's disease was established. Resections for each patient were negatively correlated with parity in both groups. (Distal ileal disease (p = 0.034, rs = 0.3207), colonic disease (p = 0.051, rs = -0.2960)). Patients with distal ileal Crohn's disease and a history of pregnancy at diagnosis (n = 30, mean follow up = 15 years) had fewer resections/patient when compared with the published resection group: mean (SD); 1.17 (0.65) v 1.57 (1.05), p = 0.006. Patients with colonic Crohn's disease and a history of pregnancy at diagnosis (n = 28, mean follow up = 16.5 years) had fewer resections/patient when compared with the published resection group: mean (SD); 0.68 (0.77) v 1.05 (0.77), p = 0.019. In summary, patients with distal ileal and colonic Crohn's disease, who had been pregnant in the past subsequently need fewer surgical resections. Pregnancy could influence the natural history of Crohn's disease either by decreasing immune responsiveness or by retarding fibrous stricture formation, which is the commonest indication for surgical intervention.
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