Publications & Reports

Addressing pregnancy-related concerns in women with inflammatory bowel disease: Insights from the patient's perspective.

Flanagan EK, Richmond J, Thompson AJ, Desmond PV, Bell SJ


Background and Aim: Therapeutic options for in ammatory bowel disease (IBD)have expanded, as has the use of IBD medications in women during the reproductiveperiod. However, no qualitative data exist that examine the pregnancy-related con-cerns of women with IBD in the current era of widespread immunomodulator and bio-logic use. Hence, we aimed to explore in detail the impact of IBD on pregnancy fromthe patient’s perspective.Methods: This qualitative study used semistructured interviews to explore partici-pants’ experiences regarding IBD and pregnancy until no new themes emerged. Keythemes were identied using thematic analysis.Results: Fifteen women with IBD were interviewed. The majority of participantsreported lingering concerns regarding their IBD medications, despite advice from theirgastroenterologist that the drugs were considered safe in pregnancy. Participants moreoften reported medication-related fears, such as potential negative effects on their chi-ld’s immune system, than concerns regarding the effect of the disease itself on theirpregnancy outcomes. A common theme was a perceived lack of knowledge amongnon-IBD clinicians regarding IBD medications during pregnancy, which augmentedpre-existing anxiety.Conclusions: This study is the rst of its kind to provide an in-depth assessment offemale patients’ perspectives of IBD in relation to conception, pregnancy, and caringfor offspring. In particular, this research characterizes the unique fears and persistinganxieties regarding IBD medications in pregnancy. The study has unearthed importantinsights into the specic concerns and support needs of women with IBD in order tofacilitate nonjudgmental counseling designed around patient concerns and beliefs.

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  • Journal: JGH Open
  • Published: 01/01/2021
  • Volume: 5
  • Issue: 1
  • Pagination: 28-33