When a woman gets pregnant and has ulcerative colitis there can be problems. Since I have ulcerative colitis, when my sister-in-law who is also a sufferer of ulcerative colitis became pregnant, my wife and I were consulted. Of course, not being a woman I had not had to face the problem but found that there certainly are problems with respect to being pregnant and having ulcerative colitis.
It was very difficult to reassure my sister-in-law because she was concerned about the possibility if passing the illness on but, as we had found, there was a bigger chance of that occurring in Crohn’s disease. In researching that fact I found that if one parent has the illness, odds are seven to ten percent and if both parents do the odds jump to 35 percent
The second problem that we had with my sister-in-law’s pregnancy was that her ulcerative colitis condition was active which meant she had to be on steroids and that meant the baby had to be monitored very closely. She could not remain on the medicine long without harming the baby. It was a tense time for all of us.
Of course, since the illness was active there was another problem. With the problem of sickness, came the problem of diarrhea which as a combined problem from pregnancy and ulcerative colitis presented as a real danger for becoming dehydrated so fluids were all important and frankly a daily challenge because we never knew how she would be able to tolerate anything.
One thing that was in my sister-in-law’s favor was that she was in good health. She never had been a smoker. Women who are smokers should stop. She was used to exercising which meant her body was in good shape. It was prepared to have a baby. Further, she had always eaten right and that was in her favor.
Ultimately a healthy little girl was born. My sister-in-law had to endure a lot because the ulcerative colitis remained active pretty much throughout the pregnancy and the baby and her body while carrying the baby could not tolerate consistent medication.
When it comes right down to it, an ulcerative colitis pregnancy starts with the same basics as any other pregnancy and that is self-care with respect to exercise, hydration and correct diet. The major change only occurs if the woman has an active illness. If the illness is not active then there is very good chance the pregnancy will be successful.