Conclusion

UC and CD are inflammatory diseases of the intestine, with a multifactor pathogenesis and the tendency to especially afflict young women of reproductive age, affecting their quality of life as well as their interpersonal relationships. In reference to this aspect, it is important to emphasise the psychological effect of the disease on patients' sexual life, which can undermine the opportunity of having children despite the fact that IBD itself does not considerably affect fertility. Moreover, even if pregnant women suffering from IBD require strict monitoring, particularly concerning the nutritional aspect and the need for aggressive treatment of any disease relapses, risk to the foetus or the expectant mother are moderate in suitably controlled disease, and many concerns about pregnancy and its possible consequences are not justified.

Risks increase in insufficiently treated disease, as in this case, relapses are frequent and invariably influence foetal growth negatively, resulting in low birth weight, premature delivery and miscarriage. For this reason, it is necessary when treating young women with IBD to apply a multidisciplinary approach involving careful evaluation of patients' psychosocial status and including discussion about medical, psychological and sexual problems, informing and educating them about the peculiar aspects of pregnancy and its management during IBD.

On the basis of the present trend, a patient with IBD that is kept in a quiescent stage thanks to increasingly effective medical therapies, most of which are well tolerated during pregnancy, may expect pregnancy course and outcome not too different from those expected in young healthy women.

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