Women tend to experience Crohn's Disease and its symptoms in a different way to men. Being a woman with Crohn's Disease can have its own unique concerns.
Some of the symptoms that women may experience can include missed periods, fertility issues, pain during sex to name just a few. So if you are female and you have Crohn's Disease then here are 4 Things that you need to be aware of.
1. You may be at a higher risk of anaemia.
Anaemia due to blood loss is a condition marked by low levels of iron in the blood. In women with Crohn’s disease, blood loss from menstrual flow decreases iron stores, and then there's the potential bleeding from the illness. What’s more, reduced absorption of iron can also occur when the small intestine is inflamed. Consult your specialist, be tested and supplement if necessary.
2. You may be affected during pregnancy.
The reproductive system and your digestion are neighbours so it makes sense that one can affect the other. You may have a slightly higher chance of a miscarriage due to your disease, and you, therefore, should work closely with your obstetrician and your gastro during your pregnancy. If you are taking medications, these will need to be discussed as well. Making sure you maintain your nutritional requirements is also a significant concern as your ability to absorb nutrients can be compromised in Crohn’s disease. You have to eat well during pregnancy because the baby only has access to the nutrients that you absorb.
3. Your symptoms may alter according to your hormone levels.
This is straight from an expert in this field.
“Women with Crohn’s disease report more bowel movements and cramping around the time of their period,” says Marla Dubinsky, MD, co-director of the Susan and Leonard Feinstein Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and president of WeCare, an organization devoted to the advancement of women in the field of inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease in men aren’t affected by rises and falls in hormone levels, she says.
4. It may cause missed periods and changes in your fertility levels.
Missed periods and fertility issues may be due to medications that treat Crohn’s disease, weight loss, hormonal changes, or problems with absorbing nutrients due to your Crohn's Disease.
“If you’re in remission from Crohn’s disease at the time of conception, you’ll likely be able to conceive and have an uncomplicated pregnancy and healthy delivery,” says Dr Schnoll-Sussman. However, it's more difficult to become pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy if Crohn’s disease is active. "Discuss your plans with your doctor well in advance of conception to help assure a healthy pregnancy,” Schnoll-Sussman says.
Remember if you have any more questions about Crohn's Disease and being a woman then look out for Part 2 in this series or please free to email me at email@example.com or visit my Facebook Page at My Crohn's Doctor.
Yours in Health and Wellness
My Crohn's Doctor
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Hello, I am Dr Michael and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was 12 years old.