IBD and Ostomy Women’s Health

IBD and Ostomy Women’s Health

Fertility, Pregnancy and Sexual Function

There are many concern’s about Fertility, Pregnancy and Sexual Function with IBD and having an Ostomy in Women’s Health issues (Crohn’s disease, Colitis).

Dr. Sonia Friedman is an IBD clinician and she joins Elaine in this video to discuss Women’s Health and concerns in this regard.

Fertility and Pregnancy with Crohn’s/Colitis

When considering getting pregnant it is important to be in remission. Please talk to your doctor about it.  Finding an IBD doctor that works well with an OB/GYN department is extremely helpful and they should be able to work together. 

Be well informed about medications and any counter-indications with pregnancy. Surprising, there is not a huge side-effect from medications if you are pregnant. 

Some women are more symptomatic when they have their period. Therefore, birth control can help IBD symptoms.

Proper nutrition can be difficult with IBD yet it does help with fertility.

It is possible with both IBD and an ostomy to go through IVF treatments. But mostly, it’s important to know that you can get pregnant with IBD and/or an ostomy.

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation also has some good resources. 

Ostomy and Pregnancy

If you have an Ostomy it is still possible to get pregnant and to have a healthy pregnancy. It may be more complicated in cases with a lot of scar tissue and surgery sites. 

With an ostomy it can be more difficulty to change your pouch/ostomy bag. Put you can use a mirror to see what you are doing or have someone help you.

Having a c-section can also add complications. Although if you have a J-Pouch then you are advised to have a c-section as a vaginal birth will put too much pressure on the J-Pouch.

It is worth talking through all the possible scenarios with your IBD and OB/GNY doctors.

Sexual Function with Crohn’s disease, Colitis, Ostomy

Thankfully the topic of sexual function with Crohn’s disease, Colitis, Ostomy is being discussed in more recent years.  There are a myriad of reasons why sexual function may be affected ranging from depression, low energy, to where disease is manifesting, embarrassment and poor body image.

Vaginal dryness can occur in women with IBD and you should make sure you don’t have an infection which may be due to antibiotics or different medications.

Seeking a pelvic floor physical therapist can help women a lot.

Dr. Friedman is a distinguished IBD clinician, researcher and teacher. She is an expert on IBD and women’s health issues. She is director of women’s health at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Crohn’s and Colitis Center in Boston Massachusetts. As a result, she is a wealth of information and brings light to these really important issues.  

Check out the other Episodes and please subscribe on YouTube: Elaine O’Rourke Yoga, Ostomy, IBD.

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