Crohn's and Pregnancy

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 7/31/2008 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   
So, I am 26, been married for three years, and have Crohn's.  I have been talking with my doctors (Obgyn and Gastro) about getting pregnant.  While I do not think I will have a problem getting pregnant, I am concerned about medications during the pregnancy.  I am currently on Imuran and while its been working okay, I have had five flares in the past year putting me in the hospital. 
My Gastro wants me to stay on Imuran during the pregnancy and stated that the research out there does not indicate that it can cause birth defects or other complications.  I have been researching it on the internet and I only found one website that said it was okay.  All the others say that Imuran should be avoided during pregnancy due to higher risk of birth defects, pre-term labor, and a weakened immue system. 
So, I am wondering what experiences you have had.  My heart tells me to not take it, but the doctor said my crohn's is way to active right now.  I don't want to be sick and hospitalized while being pregnant.
Any thoughts?
25 year old female
Newly married to the most loving and supportive man
In my last year of getting my Master's Degree in Social Work
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 2004 after my gallbladder was removed 
Been on Prednisone and Asacol
Currently on folic acid, Remicade and Imuran
Too many flare ups to count
Been hospitalized three times in the past year (thank you morphine)
Couldn't do it without my family, especially my mom
Have the greatest doctor in the world and will fight this disease til the end!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 7/31/2008 12:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I am on it as well. There are several imuran moms on this site. My doc. both Gyno and Gastro said it was a greater risk to come off of it than to stay on it. So I would continue taking it if it were me. I am considering the same thing you are. The risk of having a severe flare while preg. would be greater- is what my dr. says.
Good Luck to yoiu and Pray about it!!! I'll pray for you!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 449
   Posted 7/31/2008 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I JUST visited this topic in June.

Yes, Imuran is completely safe. I actually went for a second opinion with Dr. Christian Stone at Wash U at Barnes Jewish in St. Louis. They gave mea paper stating you are better off staying on the drugs and said that out of all his patients he has seen no one with any birth defects because of the drug. In addition, he said a GI in Philedelphia (I can't remember the name) actually prescribes it all the time to women in their child-bearing years. It's his "drug of choice." I was also told that Dr. Stephen Hauner in Chicago has the same philosophy for Imuran.

In addition, I had my MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) specialist and my genetics counselor visit this idea and find all the info they could. There is only one study out there that showed even a slight increase in birth defects and the study is so skewed that most doctors don't even look at it as a possibility. My MFM was on board with Imuran if we needed it as the studies show no increased birth defects and when you have Crohn's and you get pregnant, if you are flaring, you are a huge huge huge risk of miscarriage or pre-term labor.

I do advise that you get into your OB and have a pre-conception appointment to discuss a pregnancy. From there, they may want to send you to a high-risk OB/MFM to discuss this before you achieve pregnancy at all.

I suffered 3 years of infertility. If you ever want to chat, feel free to email me at I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), but my reproductive endocrinologist is almost certain that the vast majority of my infertility was related to my Crohn's and the medications used to suppress my immune system. I can go into detail about that later...

But, all in all, yes Imuran is safe for pregnancy according to the many many many doctors I have talked to.
Kaycie - Age: 26
Crohn's - Dx Nov 05
Remicade - Next infusion - July 10th - new dose - 10mg/kg
IVF #1 (In-Vitro Fertilization) - Failed
IVF #2 - IVIg, Heparin, Baby Aspirin - TWIN GIRLS!!!
Reagan Dawn - 8/2/07 - Lived 1 hour 27 minutes due to Cloaca, NOT affiliated with my Crohn's
Addison Maria - 8/2/07 - 11 months old

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/1/2008 1:08 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank you so much for your advice. I am currently seeing an OBGYN that specializes in high risk pregnancies and he has had numerous patients with Crohns. It is such a scary thing (as you know) so hearing your experience really makes me feel better.
26 year old female
 Married to the most loving and supportive man
Just Graduted with my Master's Degree in Social Work
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 2004 after my gallbladder was removed 
Been on Prednisone, Asacol, Flagly, and Remicade
Currently on folic acid and Imuran
Too many flare ups to count
Been hospitalized five times in the past year (thank you morphine)
Couldn't do it without my family, especially my mom
Have the greatest doctor in the world and will fight this disease til the end!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 8/1/2008 1:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I've heard similar things about Imuran, but I am more familiar with the related med 6mp. All I talked to agreed it was safe to stay on it and WAY better than risking a flare while pregnant. Really it comes down to a healthy mommy= a healthy baby.

Even though I wouldn't hesitate to take it while preg, I actually ended up off the med before I became pregnant. I'd been in remission for 4 years and they were thinking it was time to come off of it anyway. I am currently 9 mos (counting down to baby any day now) and have had no probs the entire pregnancy.

Sounds like you are doing everything you need to by talking to all of your docs and specialists ahead of time. Just remember that even though we are more risk than other pregnancies many of us have perfectly normal pregnancies. I know I spent the first 5 months just waiting for something to go wrong and it never did. Now that baby is full term, I've been able to relax and appreciate how lucky I've been. Hope the same for all of you. Good Luck!
Currently in remission!

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/1/2008 11:28 PM (GMT -7)   
how about humira? i am 26 and want to try to get pregnant in a couple years and my doc says she wants to keep me on it even i get pregnant. doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
Amanda-26-CNA/nursing student/revolutionary (gonna change the world)
Diagnosed at 16 (1998) bowel resection 2004 ( sexy scar)
been on pred, pentasa (16 horse pills a day c'mon), imuran,remicade and entocort
my dad also has it since he was 25
now just on humira.I go to the dr. 8/8/08 and i know that'll change. things work for a while and then stop as you all know.
and luckily thru it all i have an amazing bf who is unbelieveably supportive.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 8/2/2008 6:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi ! We have a bit in common. I am a social worker also and will ge graduating with my MSW in 2 weeks ! I also take Imuran and now that school is finally coming to an end I have been talking with the GI about pregnancy also. My Crohns has been stable for 3 years. I did have a battle with a skin condition called Pyoderma Gangrenosa from last Aug - Feb which I needed high doses of prednisone and Remicade. My GI always has told me no Imuran for pregnancy. He would turn to Prednisone if a flare occured during conception or while pregnant. I hate Prednisone and to be honest I am scared as heck to even think of coming off the Imuran at this point. He said I could start to taper the Imuran last week but I have not yet! I put on some weight with 9 months Prednisone and need to take that off before I want to try anyways.. Good luck in the months ahead with school!
29 Year old Female. Dx with Crohns 2005. Currently take Imuran 50 mg. Had 3 remicade infusions which put me in remission.
Dx with Pyoderma Gangrenosum Nov '07. Finally the evil prednisone is finished!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 8/2/2008 11:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I am pregnant, my GI told me I could stay on imuran while pregnant, but he ended up taking me off it and putting me on prednisone instead. Prednisone is the safest CD drug to use while pregnant. It's been around for years and years and there's a tonne of info with pregnant women on it.

I hate prednisone, I hate the side effects, but I'll put up with it for my baby's sake. ;-) I'm trying to wean and it's very very difficult. I'll likely end up with gest. diabetes again too.

My GI said we'd consider going back on imuran in 2nd trimester now.

Best wishes with your future pregnancy! Do whatever will be the safest and healthiest for you and your baby.

*** *** is an excellent research centre for pregnant/nursing women and medicine information. Check it out.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 518
   Posted 8/2/2008 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I have a very healthy, happy, and beautiful 7 yr. old and I took imuran throughout my entire prenancy (along with some other crohn's meds).
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