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IBS and Pregnancy


Sarah Stout
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I am a 29 year old female who has struggled with digestive issues since early high school. I was "officially" diagnosed with IBS in 2011. The majority of the time, I lean towards IBS-D, but have started struggling with IBS-M the past year. I have been through LEAP MRT testing, Celiac testing, stool testing, gallbladder ultrasound, blood tests, dietary changes, and a decent list of prescriptions and different probiotics. To date, I have yet to find a method or treatment that keeps flair-ups at bay.

As I approach the big "3-0", my husband and I are wanting to start a family, but are fearful of how my IBS will affect our ability to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby. We have been more-or-less trying for 2 years, and how not been able to conceive. When I am dealing with a bad flair-up, I can't imagine putting my body through any more pain or discomfort; and I am fearful my inconsistent eating habits would make growing a healthy baby difficult.

I would be interested in hearing any stories from those who were able to conceive while dealing with IBS. What was that journey like for you? I would appreciate any insights or words of encouragement.


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Jeffrey Roberts

Welcome Sarah,

I don't mean to hijack your question, because it is a good one and I'm sure others can provide some insight.

Have you ever explored cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for managing your IBS? You might find it useful to manage the flares and also for dealing with conceiving.

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Hi Jeffrey,

Thank you for your response! I have not tried CBT, but have heard of it as a treatment option. I will be looking into this further...

 

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  • 1 month later...

I am interested in this discussion as well. I was diagnosed with IBS-D almost two years ago and have been managing it very well with Viberzi. As my husband and I start to plan our family, I am worried about the medication and it’s potential effect on the fetus/baby. It has not been tested on pregnant women, but in animal studies there seemed to be no effect and my doctor before we started trying said it should be fine. My GI doctor doesn’t seemed concerned but can’t tell me if it could cause miscarriage, etc. She also said I could stop the medication but I am really worried about my symptoms returning as they cause a lot of anxiety, interferes with work, etc. I just want to know if people on the medication had successful pregnancies. My first pregnancy I miscarried at 5 weeks and it could have been for a variety of reasons of course, but I wish I could rule our Viberzi and not worry about issues in the future with ability to conceive. 

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Jeffrey Roberts

Great question! Unfortunately I don't think anyone can answer this question about Viberzi. As you discovered, it was never researched in pregnancy.

Many women who take many medicines for a variety of illnesses unfortunately face this same uncertainty. It's a difficult decision.

For what is is worth, the FDA offers this factsheet about the topic, https://www.womenshealth.va.gov/WOMENSHEALTH/docs/Medicine_and_Pregnancy_Fact_Sheet_ENGLISH.pdf

There is also a website I found called www.mothertobaby.org

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