What is the impact of inflammatory bowel disease during pregnancy?

Date posted: 
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an immune condition of the bowel, affecting approximately 233,000 people in the Canada. Though the disease is not gender specific, there is a high incidence of IBD affecting women in their childbearing years and concern amongst young females with IBD on the effect of the disease on pregnancy and on their infants.

“There is currently very limited data on the impact of IBD and IBD medications during pregnancy and on pregnancy outcomes,” says Dr Mindy Lam, an IBD specialist at the University of British Columbia. She hopes to fill this gap in knowledge and understanding through a large, population-based, research project funded by the Gastrointestinal Research Institute (GIRI).

The study aims to describe perinatal use of IBD medications and surgery and assess maternal outcomes (such as pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, pregnancy-related liver disease and cesarean delivery) to test the hypothesis that IBD medications and surgical interventions impact health outcomes of the mother.

Neonatal outcomes (such as low birth weight, pre-term births and childhood developmental milestones) will be examined to discover whether maternal IBD and IBD medications impact the health outcomes of neonates/infants.

The project will also assess health resource utilization in IBD patients during the perinatal period, to see whether IBD patients utilize more health resources during pregnancy compared to other pregnant women.

Dr Lam hopes that the research will help improve the lives of Canadian women living with IBD by providing much needed information on the impact of IBD medications on maternofetal health outcomes. “Results will help guide clinicians caring for pregnant women with IBD, as well as assist in the development of guidelines and policies for the appropriate care of pregnant IBD women.  Our results will also help women to make important decisions regarding family planning and pregnancy.”

PopData will link data from the BC Ministry of Health, the BC Vital Statistics Agency, Perinatal Services BC and PharmaNet for the project.

Page last revised: October 13, 2016