Gastrointestinal diseases during pregnancy: what does the gastroenterologist need to know?

Ann Gastroenterol. 2018 Jul-Aug;31(4):385-394. doi: 10.20524/aog.2018.0264. Epub 2018 Apr 27.


Pregnancy is characterized by numerous physiological changes that may lead to a diversity of symptoms and frequently to gastrointestinal complaints, such as heartburn, nausea and vomiting, or constipation. Chronic gastrointestinal diseases require treatment maintenance during this period, raising the challenging question whether outcomes beneficial to the mother may be harmful for the fetus. In addition, certain diseases, such as acute fatty liver of pregnancy, only develop during pregnancy and may require urgent procedures, such as fetus delivery. Even though they are not present in our day-to-day practice, knowledge of pregnancy-related diseases is fundamental and collaboration between gastroenterologists and obstetricians is often necessary. Herein, we review pregnancy-related diseases and systematize the most appropriate treatment choices according to the recent literature and guidelines, so that the article can serve as a guide to the gastroenterologist regarding the medical approach to pregnancy-related gastrointestinal and liver diseases and their therapeutic management.

Keywords: Pregnancy; endoscopy; gastrointestinal symptoms; inflammatory bowel disease; liver; management; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review