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Infertility Risk Higher After Ulcerative Colitis Surgery

Women treated with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis have 50 percent infertility

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Women with severe ulcerative colitis who undergo colectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) have an infertility rate approximately threefold higher than women treated with medical management, according to study findings published in the November issue of Gut.

Akbar Waljee, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of eight studies that looked at the relative risk of infertility in ulcerative colitis patients treated medically and those who had IPAA.

In women who tried to conceive within 12 months, the relative risk for infertility was threefold higher for those treated surgically (3.17) than those treated medically. The researchers could not identify patient or procedure variables associated with risk. The weighted average infertility rate in women treated medically was 15 percent compared to 48 percent in those who had IPAA.

"We advocate the presentation of all medical and surgical options, including a clear statement of the infertility risk associated with proctocolectomy, to patients with severe ulcerative colitis to encourage informed decision making," the authors conclude.

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