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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is it safe to be on crohns medication when trying to get pregnant?

    Is it the same for male and female?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

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    Dr Douglas Samuel

    Gastroenterologist

    Dr Douglas Samuel specialises in digestive and liver diseases and GI endoscopy including gastroscopy, colonoscopy and balloon-assisted enteroscopy. He has a special interest in Crohn's … View Profile

    A baby has its best start if the mother is well. Most women on Crohn's medications (with the main exception methotrexate) safely achieved this with normal pregnancies, births and healthy breastfed babies. If you plan a family, or become pregnant while taking Crohn's medications, you will need to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor and make your own balanced decision.  The key to successful symptom control and pregnancy outcomes in IBD depends on an interdisciplinary approach involving the patient, her partner, her family doctor, gastroenterologist and obstetrician with close monitoring and ample counselling throughout. ​ It may help to get your IBD under control for 3 months before trying to conceive. Ensure smoking cessation, adequate B6, zinc and folate. If you have Crohn’s your doctor may recommend higher folate supplementation. Most medications don't affect fertility.  In couples with miscarriage or difficulty conceivnig, men may consider switching to another medication, only if they have stable, inactive IBD.

  • Dr Daniel van Langenberg

    Gastroenterologist

    Dr van Langenberg is a consultant gastroenterologist in private practice in Melbourne's Eastern suburbs and has public hospital appointments as Director of IBD, Eastern Health … View Profile

    Specific medications thought to be safe in pregnant women with Crohn's (IBD) under specialist supervision:
    - sulfasalazine / mesalazine (all brands, oral and rectal)
    - prednisolone
    - azathioprine / 6MP
    - Humira (adalimumab) and Remicade (infliximab)

    Meds definitely NOT safe in pregnant women:
    - Methotrexate (must stop at least 3 months prior trying to conceive)
    - other drugs - check with your Ibd specialist

    For Men planning to conceive:
    - all safe as above
    - sulfasalazine can affect sperm production- switch to mesalazine 3-6 months prior planning to conceive
    - theoretical risk with methotrexate- Consider stopping 3 months prior trying to conceive

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