Women’s Willingness to Accept Risks of Medication for Inflammatory Bowel Disease During Pregnancy

Tatyana Kushner, Angelyn Fairchild, F. Reed Johnson, Bruce E. Sands, Uma Mahadevan, Sreedhar Subramanian, Ashwin Ananthakrishnan, Christina Ha, Meenakshi Bewtra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) face difficult decisions regarding treatment during pregnancy: while the majority of IBD medications are safe, there is substantial societal pressure to avoid exposures during pregnancy. However, discontinuation of IBD medications risks a disease flare occurring during pregnancy. Objective: This study quantified women’s knowledge about pregnancy and IBD and their willingness to accept the risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes to avoid disease activity or medication use during pregnancy. Methods: Women with IBD recruited from four centers completed an online discrete-choice experiment stated-preference study including eight choice tasks and the Crohn’s and Colitis Pregnancy Knowledge questionnaire. Random-parameters logit was used to estimate preferences for both the respondent personally and what the respondent thought most women would prefer. We also tested for systematically different preferences among individuals with different demographic and personal characteristics, including IBD knowledge. The primary outcome was the maximum acceptable risk of premature birth, birth defects, or miscarriage that women with IBD were willing to accept to avoid (1) taking an IBD medication or (2) having a disease flare during pregnancy. Results: Among 230 respondents, women would accept, on average, up to a 4.9% chance of miscarriage to avoid a disease flare. On average, there were no statistically significant differences in women’s preferences for continuing versus avoiding medication in the absence of a flare. However, prior understanding of IBD and pregnancy significantly affected preferences for IBD medication use during pregnancy: women with “poor knowledge” would accept up to a 6.4% chance of miscarriage to avoid IBD medication use during pregnancy, whereas women with “adequate knowledge” would accept up to a 5.1% chance of miscarriage in order to remain on their medication. Respondents’ personal treatment preferences did not differ from their assessment of other women’s preferences. Conclusions: Women with IBD demonstrated a strong preference for avoiding disease activity during pregnancy. Knowledge regarding pregnancy and IBD was a strong modifier of preferences for continuation of IBD medications during pregnancy. These findings point to an important opportunity for intervention to improve disease control through education to increase medication adherence and alleviate unnecessary fears about IBD medication use during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-365
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Women’s Willingness to Accept Risks of Medication for Inflammatory Bowel Disease During Pregnancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this