Gastrointestinal Conditions during Pregnancy

Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2010 Jun;23(2):80-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1254294.


Pregnancy causes anatomic and physiologic changes in the gastrointestinal tract. Pregnant women with intestinal disease such as Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis pose a management challenge in clinical diagnosis, radiologic evaluation, and treatment secondary to potential risk to the fetus. Heightened physician awareness on possible etiologies such as appendicitis, diverticulitis, and rarely colorectal cancer is required for rapid diagnosis and treatment to improve maternal/fetal outcome. A multidisciplinary approach to evaluation is a necessity because radiologic procedures and treatment medications commonly used in nonpregnant patients may have a potential harmful effect on the fetus. The authors review several gastrointestinal conditions encountered during pregnancy and address presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of each condition.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal; constipation; inflammatory bowel disease; pregnancy.