Pregnancy and UC

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demchim
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 1/18/2008 10:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone.  I used to frequent this forum a few years back when I was diagnosed during my 1st pregnancy.  I went into remission (or only had mild symptoms) for about 1.5 years.  I recently found out I'm pregnant again and my UC is flaring.  I'm a bit worried because this time it started rather early, at 7 weeks.  I bled for about 5 weeks before contacting my GI (hoping it would go away).  Labs showed some anemia with a hgn of 11 (I'm usually 13).  Anyhow, I had to start Pentasa 4000mg and Canasa 1000mg 3 times a day.  While the diarrhea and blood has lessened, I still have blood and go 6-8/day and this left abdominal pain.  I'm  a little freaked out because my gi said that if I didn't feel 80% better in 4 weeks that we'd have to try "other therapies", including prednisone.  Anyone have experience with prednisone during pregnancy?  I think it's a class C drug.  I'm tempted not to even go to my next appointment as long as I'm gaining weight appropriately for the pregnancy.  I don't think I could handle the steroid side effects right now and I'm worried it may affect the baby.  Any advice would be appreciated.  Thank you so much
 
 

Scrap Girl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 653
   Posted 1/18/2008 11:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome back. I can symphathize with you because I was diagnosed during my third pregnancy and then had another major flare-up during my fourth pregnancy. It's got to be a hormone thing. Unfortunately, I miscarried during my third pregnancy and I believe it was because of my first flare-up. By the time I was diagnosed it had gotten really bad. Of course, I will never know for sure but there were a number of circumstances that led me to believe it was UC-related. So when I got pregnant again I almost immediately started flaring and quickly went on prednisone. I hate the stuff but it did help get my flare under control, somewhat. Still had some "D" and bleeding during the first two trimesters and it seemed like the third trimester things started turning around. But prednisone is commonly used during pregnancy. My OB told me they give it to some women who suffer from morning sickness too. Hope things improve for you soon.
Diagnosed with UC in Feb. 2005
 
Colazal (9 a day)
Folic Acid
Biotin
Calcium
Remicade remission


*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 1/19/2008 1:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I was in 100% remission and have relatively mild UC, but I had the worst flare of my life when I was 6 weeks pregnant. I used hydrocortisone enemas daily for 2 weeks and got my flare back under control. I continued with Rowasa enemas throughout the rest of my pregnancy and was 100% back in remission(I was even constipated for a while..now that was a weird experience!). I didn't flare again until I weaned from breastfeeding and had to go on Asacol to get back in remission. My advice is talk to your GI. You don't want to miscarry because of your UC. You need to get it under control, even if it means more meds. Ask about the hydrocortisone enemas..they worked for me. Try different things and give them at least 2 weeks to kick in. For me the pregnancy hormones in my 2nd and 3rd trimesters actually helped me maintain remission, so it might be the same for you. Good luck!!
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


demchim
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 1/19/2008 10:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks girls! I actually feel better hearing your stories of success.
Best wishes!

macgrl
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/21/2008 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi demchim,

I am currently 26 weeks pregnant and was just diagnosed with UC in July 2007. I found out I was pregnant only 4 weeks later. Initially I was put on Salolfalk (8 pills/day) + nightly suppositories and this seemed to get things under control. But then in September/October, I started to flare pretty bad. We tried increasing the suppositories and then added enemas, but nothing seemed to work. My GI put me on 40mg prednisone in November. This also didn't seem to work. I had only about 2 weeks in total where I wasn't having 5-10 BMs a day with a lot of blood/mucus. In December he put me up to 50mg prednisone and a liquid diet. This also didn't work so I ended up going to emerg. at the hospital. They put me on IV fluids and steroids with nightly Salofalk enemas again and it got everything under control in only 2 days!!! I wish I had done something sooner, but I guess I learned my lesson. I have been completely symptom free since Christmas morning and I'm eating normally. I've tapered down to 20mg of prednisone so far and now I'm on a 5mg taper every 2 weeks. I'm still doing nightly enemas and I'm back to 8 pills Salofalk/day. The baby is doing well (kicking like CRAZY now) and I've gained 18 pounds so far! So everything seems to be progressing well. I'll keep you posted and let you know if I have anymore problems. I know how scared I was when I was flaring, especially since I'm newly diagnosed and this is my first pregnancy. It's nice to hear other peoples experiences. I know everyone is different, but there is still some comfort in hearing what other people have gone through. Good luck!
----------------------------------------------------------------

Diagnosed: July 2007
Pregnant: Due 05/2008
Meds: Salofalk enema (nightly), 25mg prednisone, Salofalk pills (8X/day)
Other: prenatal vit., probiotics, calcium, folic acid, fish oil.


demchim
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 1/21/2008 9:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Macgrl,
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It does give me hope and ease my anxiety. I was diagnosed with my first pregnancy too so I kind of knew that with this 2nd pregnancy my symptoms would get worse. What can I say, I love having kids!


I'm so gld your UC is under control. Keep us posted!

expecting226
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 1/22/2008 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi demchim -

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I am 36 weeks pregnant... and am glad that the end is in sight! To answer your question, I did have a flare during my first trimester. It came on around the 7th week. I was already taking Asacol and Rowasa, so my GI turned to Prednisone. I did a short, four week taper and it pushed me right into remission. I have been doing well ever since. (I've had a few episodes of diaarhea in the last several weeks, but my Drs. have determined it is pregnancy related... not a flare.)

I was very nervous when my GI prescribed the Pred so early in my pregnancy. I consulted with my high-risk OB, and he was like, relax, this is not a big deal at all. He has plenty of pregnant women on Pred for many reasons... asthma, allergies, pneumonia. Prednisone does not cross the placenta, so it does not reach the baby. It is much more important for you to be healthy and not in a flare.
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)
- Iron (2x per day)


demchim
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 1/24/2008 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations expecting226! I wish I was near the end but I have a long way to go.
I'm always so jealous of those women who tell me that they had wonderful pregnancies with no nausea/vomiting, edema, fatigue...it's amazing.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I feel better now knowing that if I have to take steroids it will be okay....now I just need to convince my husband it's okay ;)

PSUDOC
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 360
   Posted 1/25/2008 3:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm currently 6 weeks pregnant and just started flaring. I'm on Asacol (2.4 g)and Imuran (50 mg), and I'm terrified that this flare could hurt my baby. I put in calls to my high-risk OB and to my GI yesterday, but my GI apparently wasn't concerned enough to call me back -- she left town a couple hours ago and will be gone for 2 weeks. I'm trying to find someone else to get me in, because my OB doesn't feel comfortable deciding on an appropriate course of action. She also doesn't think I can just ignore the flare, since I'm bleeding with it. I have a healthy 5 year old, and was diagnosed with UC after her birth, so I didn't have to go through this before. I'm just really scared right now, and it's comforting to hear your success stories.

demchim
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 1/25/2008 11:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Congraulations on your pregnancy PSUDOC. I completely understand your concerns...as I had the same ones and still do. As long as you are gaining appropriate weight and not bleeding a ton you will be okay..but definitely get in touch with your GI.

I am now 14 weeks pregnant and flared (minor) around 6-7 weeks....the hormones just throw my system out of whack. I bled for 5 weeks before I got in touch with my gi (because I"m stubborn). My GI scared the hell out of me when he told me that I could lose the pregnancy if I don't restart meds (he knows I'm not the most compliant patient)...well, it worked.

Asacol should be fine for pregnancy and I think Imuran is okay also. I was diagnosed right after my first pregnancy (I had a horrible flare my 3rd trimester but just thought it was hemmorhoids (I have none) and the diarrhea or pregnancy...I was in shock when I found out I was wrong. Anyhow, I still had a healthy 7lb baby girl despite all the D and bleeding. I'm sure you will be fine in the interim but make sure you get in touch with a good GI. Keep us posted and we'll pray for you!! I know it's exhausted during the 2nd pregnancy when you still have a little one and you're flaring...hang in there..

sue

*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 1/28/2008 12:23 PM (GMT -6)   
PSUDOC I had the worst flare of my life at 6 weeks pregnant. I didn't leave the couch or toilet for 2 weeks straight. It was brutal. I used hydrocortisone enemas to get mine back under control and once back in remission I didn't flare again until I stopped breastfeeding. When I was flaring I was 100% sure that I was going to lose my baby and was sooooo scared. Well I have an amazing, healthy 20 month old little girl that is completely fine. But you need to get attention asap. Doesn't your GI have anyone on call while he is on leave?? That is so wrong! You need help right away. It took me a few weeks to get mine under control because I didn't get help right away. Especially with a 5 year old, you want to start feeling better as soon as possible. Keep calling everyone you can until someone helps you. Hang in there. If you are like me, you will go back in remission..I was even constipated in my 2nd tri-mester if you can believe that! Now that is something different!
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


PSUDOC
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 360
   Posted 1/28/2008 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   
UPDATE -- My GI doc's partner called me back on Saturday -- even gave me his cell number to call if I had more concerns. He put me on Canasa suppositories. I never had much luck with these in the past, although I wasn't on the Imuran before either. Anyway, started that Saturday night and I feel SO much better. My bleeding has completely stopped, and I can actually not spend the first hour of the day on the toilet! Thank you all for your support. So nice to hear from others going through this.

*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 1/28/2008 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   

Glad to hear things are so much better!  That was quick.  I know everything is going to be fine as it sounds like your flare is already getting under control.  So now...don't stress out!  That isn't good for you or the baby!  I know, easier said then done especially with all of those pregnancy hormones.  Man, I was an irrational freak.

As for the suppositories those stopped working for me early on so you might want to try the enemas(Rowasa) as those are the same medicine but much more so it really gets up there and works.  Those did wonders for me!  If your bleeding isn't completely gone soon, call the doc back and get him to give the enemas instead of the suppositories.

Good luck!


Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


macgrl
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/29/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with *Jen* about the enemas. I found they worked way better than the suppositories too. I used the Salofalk enemas, but I believe they're the same thing. Maybe just named differently b/c I'm in Canada. That's awesome that you got the flare under control so quickly though. Wish I had the same luck, but no complaints from me now - I'm 5 weeks flare-free (and counting)!!!
----------------------------------------------------------------

Diagnosed: July 2007
Pregnant: Due 05/2008
Meds: Salofalk enema (nightly), 20mg prednisone, Salofalk pills (8X/day)
Other: prenatal vit., probiotics, calcium, folic acid, fish oil.


*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 2/1/2008 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Congrats on the 5 weeks Macgrl!! Doesn't that feel great. Hope the rest of your pregnancy is UC flare free and uneventful. Get as much rest as you can as you will need it! I am jumping on the trying to conceive train in 2 weeks. I'm nervous..but excited. Hope to be joining you guys shortly!
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 

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