2016-03-14 18:25:52 UTC

Talk to Your Female IBD Patients about their Contraceptive Choice

March 15, 2016

New Gastroenterology study links oral contraceptive use to risk of surgery for female patients with Crohn’s disease.

A new Gastroenterology article in press finds that long-term use of oral contraceptives is associated with increased risk of surgery among women with established Crohn’s disease.

The research team, led by Hamed Khalili, MD, MPH, from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, conducted a prospective study of female patients with Crohn’s disease (16 to 51 years old) identified from the Swedish National Patient Register. They demonstrate that consistent and long-term use (greater than three years) of oral contraceptives — particularly the combination type of estrogen and progestin oral contraceptives — in patients with established Crohn’s disease is associated with increased likelihood for surgery.

The researchers add that the risk of surgery increased with longer duration of use and higher prescribed daily dose. They estimate that, for every 83 patients with Crohn’s disease receiving the combination type of oral contraceptives for at least one year, one extra surgery is required. The rate of steroid prescriptions did not appear to increase with past or current use of oral contraceptives.

The authors conclude by calling on physicians to carefully evaluate and monitor contraceptive options among women with established Crohn’s disease.

For more insights, read the full Gastroenterology article in press (login required).

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