To better guide women with inflammatory bowel disease throughout all stages of family planning, the American Gastroenterological Association is partnering with pharmaceutical company UCB, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine to create a working group to address some of the myths surrounding pregnancy and inflammatory bowel disease.
According to the AGA, 34% of women with IBD believe they are less likely to get pregnant than the general population. Uma Mahadevan, MD, AGAF, of the Center of Colitis and Crohn’s Disease at University of California, San Francisco, and chair of the IBD Parenthood Project Working Group, said these fears can be attributed to a lack of accurate and accessible information.
“In fact, there are gaps in true understanding of the risks and benefits associated with treatment of women with IBD preceding, during and after pregnancy among both [health care providers] and patients,” she told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease. “Coupled with a lack of accurate and accessible information, misperceptions and fears have driven many women with IBD to delay pregnancy or to be voluntarily childless.”
The working group will take a multi-disciplinary approach to develop a clinical care pathway to standardize care among all the different specialties that treat women with IBD as they plan a family.
Mahadevan said they hope to produce valuable, evidence-based materials that will help health care providers have consistent and effective conversations with their patients. Doing so could help clear up some of the misconceptions that surround the whole process, she added.
“I commend the AGA for convening this working group and addressing this unique issue that impacts so many women who are trying to start a family,” Mahadevan said. – by Alex Young
Disclosures: Mahadevan reports that she is a consultant for AbbVie, Janssen, Takeda, Pfizer