Monday, November 11, 2013

Scar Tissue And Pregnancy

I occasionally get asked what sort of things women should know when pregnant if they have Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. In my first article about this topic (read the article here), I shared a lot of information and things to consider.

But what about my personal experiences? I'm now half-way through my second pregnancy and so far all is going well, but I have experienced some issues related to my Crohn's Disease. After my first baby was born, I had a small return of my symptoms, but my GI Doc put me on Salofalk which I'm still taking and my symptoms greatly improved. I'm still in remission today.

However, other than having to continue on the Salofalk to be on the safe side (which my Doc reassures me is a very safe medication), I've also had a much more difficult issue cropping up.
It happened once in my first pregnancy and now twice in this one so far. I've had very painful uterine contractions which my OB thinks might be related to scar tissue from past surgeries (and c-section) adhering to the outside of my uterus and as things grow, is causing irritation and leading to these painful muscle cramps or contractions.

Luckily my doctor says that there are no other signs of labour, and the contractions are not my body getting ready to deliver, but rather a reaction to some irritation going on in there. Scar tissue is the best guess.

While both baby and I are totally safe, these episodes have been super painful. The hospital monitors the fetus and me, checks that I'm not in labour then gives me a pain killer and mild muscle relaxant and sends me home. Luckily this seems to calm things down. So now I'm trying to take things extra easy and avoid too much lifting or heavy physical work.

Any other ladies out there experience the same thing? I was told it wasn't very common, and that I might just have more sensitive insides. I can't imagine the situation if my surgery had not been laparoscopic which minimizes scar tissue. But to be fair my poor abdomen has been through a lot. One small bowel resection, one smaller surgery to deal with an abscess+fistula and one c-section. Poor belly!

On a fun note, here's my son, stuck in his ball pit! (YouTube video)

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