Getting pregnant with IBD
Most people with IBD receive a diagnosis between the ages of 15 and 30 years old, which coincides with peak years of fertility and pregnancy. So it makes sense that fertility, and getting pregnant, is often a concern for many women who have been diagnosed with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
The overall fertility rate for women with Crohn's and UC has been reported to be similar to women without IBD. However, it's important to keep in mind that certain surgeries or medical treatments for IBD may impact fertility. So, if you or your partner with IBD plans on becoming pregnant in the future, it's a good idea to talk with a doctor who understands the special care required during this important time in your life.
Surgery related to IBD complications may impact fertility
Inflammation and fertility
Why some women choose not to conceive
Although not a cause of infertility, voluntary childlessness is more common among women with IBD. Women with IBD often choose to have fewer children for a number of reasons, including:
Assisted Reproductive Technology
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a helpful option for women with IBD who are unable to conceive. Since IVF bypasses the fallopian tubes, any scarring due to prior surgery should not affect the results.
When it's time to see a fertility specialist
It takes time
Trying to become pregnant can be an exciting or even stressful part of the journey to motherhood. Be patient when starting the process and remember that it can take a long time of trying for many women to finally conceive. If you have health concerns or questions about how IBD may affect your odds or timeline, talk to your doctor about your options.