Pregnancy and the Ileo-Anal Pouch

For most women, being pregnant and finally delivering a healthy baby can be a fairly stressful event in itself.

For ladies with an ileo-anal pouch the experience can be even more stressful, although most female pouchies do deliver healthy babies without any long term side effects to either themselves or the child.

The three biggest questions which arise are:

  • Can I get pregnant in the first place?
  • How will the pregnancy affect my pouch function?
  • Will I be able to deliver in the normal way or will I need a Caesarian Section?

Unfortunately the answer is not always as straightforward as the question; as with most things it tends to depend on the individual. Some obstetricians prefer to deliver with the surgical option as the extra pressure on the pouch during labour can cause problems with function and continence later on, but some patients have been known to deliver naturally with no side effects at all.

Some women find that their pouch “plays up” during pregnancy If you have a pouch or are considering the options and are thinking of having children, we advise you to discuss it with your surgeon initially. He or she will very likely point you in the right direction for further advice but may also discuss it with an obstetrician for further specialist advice.

You may already be pregnant in which case, if your obstetrician is not aware that you have a pouch, then you should make them aware as soon as possible.

Although IA does not offer medical advice we do have a number of areas where you may be able to gain further insight on this subject. There is a section in the discussion forums dedicated to pregnancy – you are welcome to add your experiences to help others.