The peak incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) occurs during the child-bearing years, and so questions about fertility, pregnancy and breast feeding are often asked by patients. It is known that patients with IBD receive twice as much information about pregnancy-related issues from gastroenterologists as from any other source (including the internet). Therefore, the role of the gastroenterologist in correctly educating patients to avoid misconceptions is paramount, and this should be done proactively prior to planning pregnancy so that the patient's health and medications can be optimised. A clear understanding of medication safety during pregnancy and lactation will improve clinical management.
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