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Can digestive and bowel disorders lead to infertility? This is an area that still requires much research. There is a great possibility that may of these diseases can indeed affect a person's ability to conceive, however.

Read on to find out which diseases are most likely to prevent you from getting pregnant. 

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease, also known as regional enteritis, is an inflammatory bowel disease. It can affect any part of the digestive system, from the mouth all the way to the anus. Crohn's disease can have a variety of symptoms. The most common symptoms of Crohn's disease are pain, diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss. Possible complications include fatigue, eye inflammation, skin rashes and arthritis. Crohn's disease can certainly be difficult to live with. There is not a lot of data available about the connection between Crohn's disease and infertility, as with many digestive disorders. Small studies indicate that women who suffer from active Crohn's disease have a slightly higher infertility rate than the general population, at 12 percent. These women also appear to have a much higher miscarriage rate, at 35 percent. Those women whose Crohn's disease was in remission when they conceived do not appear to have a higher risk of any complications.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms. There is no known cause, and no known treatment. The symptoms include pain, frequent changes in bowel movements (diarrhea/constipation), abdominal bloating and discomfort. Because IBS has an exclusively symptom-based diagnostic basis, it is not totally irrational to assume that at least a few of those women diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome actually do have physical causes of their symptoms, and that these same causes also result in infertility. There is no evidence that IBS causes infertility, but women with IBS-like symptoms who find they have no been able to get pregnant after a year of trying should certainly re-examine their diagnosis. Perhaps the symptoms that got you the diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome were actually caused by blocked fallopian tubes, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or another reproductive disease.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that has a strong genetic component. People of all ages can be affected, starting somewhere in infancy. The symptoms chronic fatigue and diarrhea, and failure to thrive in kids are a reaction to gluten protein found in wheat, barley, rye and other grains. Studies suggest that a large percentage of women who suffer from unexplained infertility may, in fact, be suffering from celiac disease. Malnutrition, caused by celiac-linked malabsorption, may be the main cause of that infertility. Women with celiac were also found to have a large rate of menstrual cycle abnormalities: 20 percent. It is very probably that those women with celiac who are unable to get pregnant can correct their fertility problems by adhering to a celiac diet. At the same time, research suggests that women with celiac are more prone to certain pregnancy complications. Those include anemia, pregnancy induced hypertension, and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) in the fetus. The moral of the story? Get screened for celiac if you suffer from idiopathic infertility, and follow dietary recommendations for celiac very carefully if you are aware you have it, and want to get pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is another inflammatory bowel disease, characterized by ulcers as well as chronic inflammation. Constant diarrhea mixed with blood is one of the most frequently occurring symptoms, and also at the same time the most troubling. Men are more likely to suffer from ulcerative colitis than women, but the disease does affect both sexes and can occur at any age. It goes through active periods, and remissive periods. Ulcerative colitis can severely disrupt a person's life and requires surgery in some cases. During this surgery, part of the large intestine is removed, and replaced with an artificial replacement created from a portion of the small intestine. Figures indicate that this procedure is associated with a very high rate of infertility as high as 50 percent! Women who are not in this situation will probably not have any trouble getting pregnant. They may, however, be subject to a higher miscarriage rate. This is especially true during an active disease period. That is why women suffering from ulcerative colitis should always discuss disease management while trying to conceive and during pregnancy before they attempt to achieve pregnancy.