Background: The evolution of ulcerative colitis in pregnancy is far from clear. While some authors state that the disease aggravates during this period, others do not share this opinion.
Aim: To assess the evolution of ulcerative colitis in pregnancy.
Patients and methods: A paired case-control design was used in which 15 women, with diagnosed ulcerative colitis at the moment of becoming pregnant, were followed for 12 months and the activity of the disease was compared with that of the 12 months preceding the pregnancy. The activity of the disease in the period preceding the pregnancy was gathered retrospectively from the patient's charts.
Results: The mean age of the first ulcerative colitis crisis was 24 years. It was moderate in 49% and severe in 35% of women. During pregnancy 55% of women did not have a crisis, compared with 26.7% during the period preceding pregnancy (relative risk of not having a crisis during pregnancy of 1.7). During both periods, seven women had digestive complications, whereas extra digestive complications were not observed in 60% of patients during pregnancy and 11.8% of patients during the preceding period. Perinatal results were similar to those of the general population.
Conclusions: In our group of patients the evolution of ulcerative colitis was better during pregnancy, reflected by a lower number of crisis.