Reproductive Health Counseling Inadequate in IBD

Only 30 percent of patients reported prior counseling; most interested in receiving more information

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) report low rates of IBD-reproductive health counseling (RHC), according to a study presented at the 2019 Crohn's & Colitis Congress, held from Feb. 7 to 9 in Las Vegas.

Aarti Rao, M.D., and Sarah Streett, M.D., from the Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, anonymously surveyed 66 women and men aged 18 to 45 years with IBD during a six-month period to examine the rates of IBD-RHC and factors associated with IBD-RHC.

The researchers found that 30 percent of all patients and 18 percent of those who had undergone IBD surgery reported prior RHC by a physician. Both men and women (18 and 34 percent, respectively) considered not having a child due to IBD. Eighty-three percent of those who considered voluntary childlessness did not receive prior IBD-RHC. Of the 11 women with an IBD diagnosis before pregnancy, 82, 60, and 36 percent had no prior IBD-RHC, did not seek gastrointestinal care preconception, and did not seek gastrointestinal care during pregnancy; however, in the preconception, pregnancy, or postpartum periods, 36 percent reported flares. During pregnancy, 50 percent stopped or changed medications; 40 percent did so without consulting a physician. Seventy-one percent of participants were interested in receiving more information on IBD and reproductive health.

"This highlights an urgent need for proactive counseling by gastroenterologists on IBD and reproductive health issues," the authors write.

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