Crohn's: abdominal cramps/pains in pregnancy

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/14/2009 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,

I'm 15 and a half weeks pregnant and have Crohn's disease. I've had 3 or 4 'flare ups' over the last 15 weeks which basically involve really painful abdominal cramps that go on for a few days until i'm usually very sick for a few hours, and after that the pain starts to go away. Obviously it's really disconcerting having an incredible painful stomach while pregnant as i just can't help worrying that it's hurting the baby. The scan at 12 weeks seemed to show that everything was fine, but everytime i get painful again i start worrying. Am just wondering if anyone else out there who's pregnant with Crohn's is having these severe cramps and has been ok? People keep saying it's bad to have a flare up during pregnancy, but apart from the pain and the fact that i can't eat much when i feel bad, i'm wondering exactly how it affects the baby?

I don't have any diarrhea, just the pain and sickness. I've come down from 30mg to 15mg of Prednisolone, and my gastro specialist has recommended replacing the steroids with azathioprine and while i was nervous at first, lots of people on this forum seem to say they've been fine on this while pregnant so i feel better about starting it!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/14/2009 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow sorry to hear you are having problems with your Crohns while you should be enjoying your pregnancy and coming baby. I don't have any advice to share, but just wanted to let you know I am sending healing prayers your way, that this stops soon.

Big Hugs,
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 158
   Posted 1/14/2009 8:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hope that maybe you feel yucky because of pregnancy hormones. I had a minor flare in the 1st trimester with my 2nd and canasa did the trick in about a week. Otherwise I never flared until right after I had my babies. But I just wanted to let you know that I hope all goes well! My OB doctor always eased my fears by telling me I am not the only pregnant patient my GI doctor sees with crohns and that it is quite normal, meds and all to have a healthy baby.
Hang in there and Congratulations!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 1/14/2009 9:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Congrats on your pregnancy!
I flared both pregnancies. It affected both 1st trimesters with bleeding and I had alot of other complications because of the crohn's, but both children were born and remain healthy (Thank God). I was on prednisone and pentasa, probiotics, dig. enzymes, vitamins, etc.
There are many women who flare while pregnant and have healthy babies. There are risks but there are steps you can take to minimize the risks by following your doctors advice and sticking to a healthy diet that hopefully won't exasperate your symptoms.
I highly suggest you change your diet to one that is free of sugar and processed food (if you haven't already), and take digestive enzymes but check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure the digestive enzymes are safe during pregnancy.
I hope you'll have a healthy pregnancy and baby!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 1/15/2009 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to this board and congratualtions of your pregnancy. I have crohn's colitis disease and i am 21 weeks pregnant , i just had my mid pregnancy scan, everthing is fine with my baby. I feel very healthy, no systoms of crohn's at all. I feel sorry that you are not feeling well, maybe you need to discuss with your doctor the possibility to change medication. I am on azathioprine drug 100mg a day, i did a lot research about this medication and the effects on pregnancy. This medication is safety for the baby and you as well. I hope you will get better soon, take care !!!!
I am 38 years old, this is my first pregnancy. I am on 100mg azathioprine, pregnancare and fish oil :-)

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/2/2009 8:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for all your replies!

I'm now 18 and a bit weeks and everything still seems to be ok despite the fact that my crohn's still flares up, despite eating healthily etc.

Krica it's great to know you're on azathioprine and having no trouble - i'm supposed to start taking that as well, only i got put off after reading lots of disconcerting things about it online, and the chemist being reluctant to give it to me because i was pregnant. My gastro specialist has recommended it though so i guess i should start - very reassuring to know it's working well for you. Was your crohn's very bad before you started taking the azathioprine?

What no one seems to be able to explain to me though is exactly why crohn's makes you a high risk pregnancy - is it because you might not be able to eat properly / may not get enough nutrients / may need an operation? Even though i've been having stomach pains from crohn's as i said everything still seems to be ok with the pregnancy, so i guess i'm just hoping it stays that way!

Good luck with everything all of you!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 2/2/2009 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Have you checked with your ob/gyn about medications? Best to make sure the baby's doctor is aware of the medications you are on and the ones that are being recommended. Remember, your gastroenterologist is not looking after your baby or your pregnancy.

I think pregnancy and lactation hormones tend to have a beneficial effect on disease activity, although individual cases vary. I hope that as the pregnancy progresses, your disease will settle down a bit. The pregnancy is probably considered high risk because you suffer from a chronic illness that affects nutritional status and with which there are increased dangers of abscess, fistula, perforation -- all things that could become medical emergencies, and that requires you to take medication.

Many, many women with crohn's disease have eventless pregnancies and deliver beautiful healthy children.

Enjoy your pregnancy. It is a very, very special time.

30+ years living with Crohn's.

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