Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011; 33: 333–339


Background  Inflammatory bowel diseases are frequent in women at their optimum age for reproduction. Possible effects on pregnancy are therefore of interest.

Aim  To assess pregnancy outcomes in 212 women: 135 of whom were diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease before pregnancy and 77 after pregnancy.

Methods  A clinical birth database was examined retrospectively. Odds ratios (ORs) for the main outcomes were calculated with 95% confidence intervals; these were adjusted for confounding factors.

Results  Overall, pregnancy outcomes were good. No increased risk of preterm births or need for neonatal intensive care was observed. However, women with inflammatory bowel disease had more growth-retarded newborns, at an adjusted OR of 2.08 (1.26–3.44) and the mode of delivery was more frequently Caesarean section, with an OR of 2.75 (1.82–4.16). In the women who were diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease after the pregnancy, we found no difference in the obstetric outcome as compared with the general obstetric population.

Conclusions  Most women with inflammatory bowel disease have a normal pregnancy outcome and, overall, inflammatory bowel disease during pregnancy poses low-to-moderate risks, the main concern being increased risk of impaired foetal growth. Normal maternal weight gain during pregnancy, possibly indicating a more stable disease, appeared to protect against adverse outcomes.