Active Crohn's disease and pregnancy

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 12/13/2007 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone!
I am 31 years old and have had crohn's disease for almost 9 years.  The past year and a half I have been on a little roller coaster with my disease.  I have never had to have surgery, although I have been close.  Now I am 6 weeks pregnant and I have had a relapse of my Crohn's again, for like the 6th time this year.  I am currently on 50mg 6-mp, 12 pills of Asocol and 9mg of Entocort, but I am not getting any relief of my symptoms.  My GI doctor wants me to start on 40mg of prednisone, but I think that's too much.  Is there anyone out there who has had the same issue or is going through this right now?  If you have, did you baby have any complications?  I know I was probably stupid for getting pregnant, but it's either now or never.  Please help!
Missyjack sad

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 12/13/2007 12:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so very much for the response Mindyk81! I totally appreciate it. I have wanted a baby for a long time but I just wish my symptoms would go away. Thanks.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/13/2007 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
We have another lady on this board who took Prednisone during her pregnancy. In fact I believe she said that she stayed on 5 mg. the rest of her pregnancy. I agree with Mindy I would take the Pred, a healthy mother brings in a healthy baby. Congrats on your pregnancy and sure hope your Crohns gets under control soon.

God Bless,
Gail *Nanners*
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1811
   Posted 12/13/2007 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
First of all - CONGRATULATIONS on being pregnant! You were not stupid for getting pregnant. I hope all goes well with you and you have a happy and healthy 9 months.

I took 20mgs pred every day for the first 4 or 5 months of my first pregnancy. Then I dropped it down to 15mg/day for the rest of the pregnancy because everything was more stable. During my 2nd pregnancy I was on only 5mg/day from beginning to end. Both my kids are healthy and fine.

When I got pg with my first child I was sick as a dog until about 14 weeks. I was so scared it was the Crohn's. Turns out it was just the shift in hormones from being pregnant and right as I was going into the 2nd trimester things totally quieted down. I hope that is the case for you.

I would also take the prednisone. I know it's a high dose, but you do NOT want to be pregnant and flaring. I took Remicade instead of 6MP during my pregnancies. That seemed to really help me a lot.

If you want to email me - you can. Click on my user name to get my email addy!


New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/23/2008 1:28 PM (GMT -6)   
it's nice to know i am not alone in this.  i'm 23 weeks pregnant with active crohn's but things seem to be going ok.  i'm on 50 mg 6mp,  20mg prednisone and 1 gram of pentasa.  the doctor is keeping me on the prednisone for the duration at 10mg and my ob says there is no major risk from prednisone so i think it's safe.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1338
   Posted 1/23/2008 9:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't worry about being pregnant while flaring. A very recent study found that active disease does not increase the risk of bad pregnancy outcomes. (you can find a summary of the study on the CCFA website; the study was published this fall and followed pregnant Kaiser IBD patients). The study found that the medicine taken and the activity of disease during pregnancy did not make it any more risky than merely having IBD itself. So just relax and take care of yourself.

[found the link to the abstract:
Here's a summary:
RESULTS: ...Women with IBD were more likely to have an adverse conception outcome, ... an adverse pregnancy outcome, ... or a pregnancy complication ...; however, the difference between the 2 groups in adverse newborn outcomes was not statistically significant. ... Severity of disease and medical treatments were not associated with an adverse outcome.
CONCLUSIONS: Women with IBD are more likely to have an adverse outcome related to pregnancy [than healthy women]. Disease activity and medical treatment did not predict adverse outcomes in a large, nonreferral population.]

I am 11 weeks right now and would have no qualms about taking pred. It is one of the oldest and most studied meds. Everyone I talked to said it was safe. If I end up needing it, I wouldn't think twice about it. I'm also on pentasa (similar to asacol) and was oked to take 6mp while pregnant (I just don't need it now).

Hope your flare settles down soon, and good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.
Currently in remission!

Post Edited (inflamed) : 1/23/2008 7:21:44 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 1/24/2008 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I am on prednisone and currently trying with active Crohns (okay with my doctor). I have never not been active since being diagnosed 18 years ago. Everyone has assured me that prednisone will be fine and my symptoms are not terrible. Sometimes there are no other choices. Good luck and congrats!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 158
   Posted 1/26/2008 11:07 AM (GMT -6)   

Even if you go into a pregnancy healthy it doesn't mean you won't flare during. I got as healthy as I could before trying to get pregnant as when I have flared it has been pretty severe every time however, I did have a minor flare in the first trimester with my second son. I used cortifoam enemas but really didn't feel that well until the 3rd trimester.

Steroids are safe and your doctor will make sure that the dosage amount is not too high either. Your better off taking the medication than feeling lousy and letting the inflammation get worse. I remember when my second son was born with hydroseal (swollen scrotum for a couple months) and I thought it was from taking asacol while pregnant and my pediatrician was quick to tell me no AND that his son was bornwith it too and his wife didn't take asacol as well as many others born with it. Just always voice your concerns and you will always most likely be told not to worry.

All four kiddos of mine have been very very very healthy! It seems to me that crohns only effects me thank the lord.

Best wishes to you for a healthy pregnancy and baby!
Diagnosed with UC in July of 2003 then diagnosed with Crohns in August of 2006.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 1/26/2008 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations and best of luck :-)   First,make sure your GI and OB work together on your pregnancy,that is very important. I was on Prednisone with my first pregnancy,and had no problems,and my GI recommended that I got IV steroids during my delivery,so I did that both times,and had no problems. Both times resulted in healthy boys :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 2/7/2008 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a four month old daughter and flared pretty badly at 16 weeks.  I also had to go on prednisone during the remainder of my pregnancy.  My advice is to go on the prednisone.  I've even gone on the prednisone while I have been nursing her, and the only side effect I've noticed is that my daughter seems hungrier when I'm on prednisone.  Also, Keep really well hydrated when you are pregnant.  That goes for all pregnant women, but especially with CD.  If you get too dehydrated, this can cause uterine cramping (really scary at 15 weeks!) and dcause you to flare.  Maybe ask your OB for compazine suppositories so that if you start vommitting, you have something on hand to slow it down.  And if you never have to use it, so much the better.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 2/7/2008 4:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe things have changed since my day of getting pregnant, but the rule of thumb was, it's better to start pred AFTER already being pregnant rather than before if possible, which is not always the case....there have likely been plenty of babies born to mom's that were on pred before getting pregnant with no issues, and I'm sure there are some babies that because of this do have issues...there are no guarantees in life when it comes to that.

Typically most GI's will hold off on giving pred before a woman gets pregnant or while she's pregnant...taking pred during either situation is/was veiwed as a last resort if the flare is bad enough for it.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 2/7/2008 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
First off, congratulations!! So exciting and don't say it is stupid of you to get pregnant. Unfortunately, the perfect, healthy period doesn't really exist when you have Crohn's so you have to do it sometime.
I am 11 weeks pregnant right now. I had a bad flare up in week 9. My doctor has put me on 30mg of pred a day. It has helped tremendously. At first I was apprehensive but within two days I was feeling better. I honestly don't know how I would have survived without it. I did a ton of research and everything came out that prednisone is well studied and carries very little risk. I spoke to MotherRisk which is an organization that only looks at drug studies and pregnant women. They said there is a very slight chance of oral cleft in the baby but it is only 2 in 1000 vs. 1 in 1000 for any random pregnancy. They said it was a "Safe" drug for pregnant women.
Don't worry ( I know it is so hard not to). I have had some very rough episodes and even went to the hospital during my flare in week 9 and actually saw the baby moving around. i think they are a lot tougher then we think. Take good care of yourself and best of luck with everything.
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