Is it safe to have a baby with UC?

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/13/2008 2:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking colozal 3 pills three times a day and canana supp. once a day for 5 five years.  My huband and I want to have children, but are worried about birth defects.  And if it is possible to have a child, is it possible to breastfeed?  I asked my Gastro docotr all of this and the only answer I got was to look it up!  So, if any has any information that could help us in our decision we would love to have it!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 3/13/2008 3:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jane,

You need a new GI, even mine printed me out a bunch of stuff to look at. Other than that I am not familiar w/Colazal but most likely there are others on here who have info. I know there have been a lot of disucussions about this and if you search the threads, you will find some great info.

For me personally I am on azathioprine, which is think is a higher class of drug than colazal and I plan to be on it while pg, though will not breastfeed w/azathioprine.

Hope you can find all the info you are looking for.
Beth, 32 ~ Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ almost in remission
UC dx'd March 2000 (30 cenitmeters as of 2005-proctosigmoiditis)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Prilosec, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd Sept 2007 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 40mg 1xday (taper 5mg a week = ), Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Tekturna 300mg 1xday, Fursomide 20mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.
Pre-Diabetic from Prednisone use - Low carb/sugar diet & exercise.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 348
   Posted 3/13/2008 6:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Beth, if your GI can't give you that kind of information on a drug that he has prescribed, how informative can he be? You will probably get more helpful replies for others on the forum that have been through being pregnant while on the colazal. Good luck.

diagnosed with uc 27 years ago.  Enojoyed 10 - 12 year remission
asacol 400 mg 3 tabs 3x a day, didn't work
was on prednisone, doc took me off.  Asacol didn't help.
currently on Sulfasalazine 2 tabs 3x day. Folic acid,mesalamine enema every other night, Omega 3, Probiotics, multi vitamin, cacium supplement, Biotin....

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 3/13/2008 9:12 PM (GMT -6)   
We have a number of members who have had successful pregnancies while taking Asacol or Colazal. I hope some of them will come by to respond to you.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
Co-Moderator UC Forum

Scrap Girl
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 653
   Posted 3/13/2008 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I took prednisone and Colazal while pregnant and my OB was fine with both. Good luck.
Diagnosed with UC in Feb. 2005
Colazal (9 a day)
Folic Acid

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 3/13/2008 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Jane - I agree with the others that your GI doesn't sound helpful. I would expect your GI who is prescribing the medication to give you advice. That being said, every GI I have talked to as well as OB's and a perinatologist have told me that both Asacol and Colazal are class B drugs and are safe to take during pregnancy and to breastfeed. I was lucky and didn't have to take any medication during my pregnancy with DD. I flared 8 weeks postpartum, but was still able to breastfeed while on Asacol and prednisone. I breasfed DD for 9 months. Unfortunately, I would like to get pregnant again in the near future and just started 6mp two days ago. It's a little more complicated when on 6mp, but my GI has assured me that he is more comfortable with me being healthy and being on 6mp while pregnant because that will ensure the best fetal outcome. I was hoping it wouldn't get to this point and that I could just be on Colazal while pregnant, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I would say if you've been in remission by being on Colazal that you would likely be okay getting pregnant and staying on Colazal throughout your pregnancy. Hopefully, your OB can help you in this area too. Good luck and just so you know, my UC was better than ever when I was pregnant. Hope that is the case for you too.
Diagnosed UC - 1993
32 year old female

Current Meds:
Prednisone - 40 Mgs
6-MP - 50 Mgs
Colazal (3 pills three times a day)
Probiotic, Folic Acid, Lysine

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 3/13/2008 11:26 PM (GMT -6)   
you can check out this website:
lots of good info on there concerning drugs, pregnancy, breastfeeding.

i did not have UC while pregnant with my first, but developed it a few months after birth and started on asacol and prednisone. breastfed my son the whole time until he was 2y3m.

now i am pregnant again, still on the asacol (which my GI and OB have reassured me are safe) and they have also told me that if i need to, prednisone is also safe for pregnancy. so no worries with these types of drugs as well as what you are on.

pregnancy hormones can also affect your UC, so be aware of changes to how you are feeling and don't hesitate to call your GI and increase meds or whatever you need to do before things get worse. many women actually feel a lot better during pregnancy but some do get worse.

and you could also ask your OB about his/her experience with IBD patients and childbirth. it made me feel better knowing my OB had at least a little bit of knowledge of the disease.

as far as the possibility of passing your disease on... there is a slightly greater chance of our children developing IBD than folks who don't have IBD, but many people with IBD are first generation so you just never know what you're going to get in your genes. you can also look up more accurate information than "slightly greater chance" if you really want the numbers.

and like many others stated, get a new GI if you can. if anyone needs help and answers, it is someone with a chronic illness!

welcome to HealingWell!
28, happily married, stay at home mom to 2 year old son. due to have baby #2 9/17/08
UC (probably pancolitis, but no c-scope yet), diagnosed June 2006, started having major symptoms sometime in January 2006, about 3 months after childbirth. 2nd flare (minor) may 2007 after taking caprylic acid for 2 weeks.

-Prednisone 8/28/06-2/28/07. and again may '07, 8 week course.
-Asacol, probiotics, ground psyllium husk, fish oil, prenatal

may you live all the days of your life.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 3/19/2008 7:49 AM (GMT -6)   
It is absolutely safe to have a baby with UC. I just did on February 8th!

I took Asacol and Rowasa throughout my entire pregnancy with no issues. I had a minor flare during my first trimester and ended up on a four-week taper of Prednisone... no issues with that either. My son is perfectly healthy. In fact, I just saw my GI for a follow-up last week, and he encouraged us to try for number two. He is ready for us to have another one... but we aren't sure we are ready! :-)

My husband and I did A LOT of research on pregnancy and UC and everything we discovered said there is no risk of birth defects associated with UC. There can be a risk from certain medications we take or from other conditions that you may have in relation to the UC (i.e. anemia), but not from the disease itself. In addition to discussing with my GI and OB/GYN, we also met with a genetic counselor and had genetic testing done to learn more about the risk of me passing this disease onto our child. That was extremely informative.

Here are a couple of tips I would give based upon my experience:
- Do not try to conceive during a flare. There is a risk of miscarriage associated with a flare - especially during the first trimester. It is best for both you and the baby if you conceive while in remission.
- It is IMPERATIVE that you have an OB and GI that will work together. They will need to be in regular contact during your pregnancy, especially if you flare at some point. As an example, my GI requested a c-section, but my OB wasn't on board until after they discussed.
- Start taking folic acid and prenatal vitamins before you conceive. That way, you can make sure your body is in its best form before you conceive.

A couple of other points...

(1) As you do your research, you will find a ton of conflicting information on pregnancy and UC medications. Be prepared for that. The general consensus, though, is that the mesalamine medications are safe for use. It's important that you have a GI that can help you navigate the maze. I agree with everyone's comments above... perhaps a different GI with a different perspective would be helpful for you.

(2) Regarding breastfeeding... there is also A TON of conflicting information. Talk to your OB/GYN and to a pediatrician. After discussing breastfeeding on Asacol and Rowasa with my GI, OB, and three pediatricians, I have opted to formula-feed. All of them felt it was not good to breastfeed on those medications. That being said, there are a lot of women on this forum who will disagree with me and have breastfed on my meds and on even stronger meds. You just have to do the research and make a decision that you are most comfortable with. There is no black and white in this arena... only a lot of grey, unfortunately.

There is always a ton of conversation on this board and on the Crohn's board re: pregnancy. Be sure to search for those old posts in order to pick up more information.

Finally, kb5 went to a conference several months ago on pregnancy and UC and brought back a ton of information on this topic. It was extremely helpful. Be sure to search for that in previous posts.

I hope this post is helpful. Good luck on your baby-making (and enjoy it, of course)! If I can answer any other questions based upon my experience, just let me know.
Proud new mom of a beautiful baby boy!
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)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 3/19/2008 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   
That's not right of your doctor, why is he so unhelpful? I had 2 babies while having UC. 1st one was a surprise, I was 19 and on Sulfasalazine the whole time. I had to be induced because he wouldn't come out, so no problems with early labor! He is 7 now, smartest in his class, good health, very active. Second baby I spoke with my OBGYN and GI before trying and worked with them both. I was on Asacol and had a good pregnancy, perfect labor, and breastfed till he was 1. He too is very healthy. I went off the Asacol at one point and ended up making myself worse so I really regret that. Then I ended up on Remicade, which is not studied in pregnancy. I am very glad I had my kids when I did because now I am on Remicade/starting Humira and I personally don't want to have any babies while on those meds. Also I am sicker now. So, if you are well enough now, I would talk with your OBGYN and make your decision soon. I would start taking folic Acid supplements right now. They help prevent birth defects and people with UC are usually low in Folic Acid.
Diagnosed with Left-sided UC in 1995 at age 15, Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocort. Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Aloe Juice, Canasa, Enotcort, Colazol, Anamantle, Remicade, etc... had almost recto-vaginal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed w/ Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Clorazepate, Proctofoam HC, Glucosamine 500, Vitamin B, Lomotil,  Tylenol pm, Lyrica started 1/17/08

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/19/2008 12:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for all the helpful comments! I have already found another doctor and will be meeting with him tomorrow. You ladies have really eased my mind and I now feel excited and hopeful of things to come. Now I just have to wait till my husband comes home from his deployment in a few months. Hopefully by then I will have all the information I need and my new GI and my OB/GYN will be on the same page with everything. Thanks so much!
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