Restorative proctocolectomy (RPC) may have adverse side effects on fertility and pregnancy, according to a study published in the journal Colorectal Disease. Female patients with ulcerative colitis who received RPC were less likely to get pregnant naturally and tended to have smaller babies than they did prior to the procedure.

Researchers from various universities and medical centers in Tel Aviv sent questionnaires to 41 women treated for ulcerative colitis with RPC. The questionnaires asked for information about fertility and pregnancy prior to RPC and after RPC. Prior to having RPC, 26 women achieved 70 pregnancies resulting in 62 live births. After the RPC procedure, 17 women achieved 32 pregnancies with 26 live births. Women reported having a more difficult time getting pregnant and lower birth weight babies after the RPC procedure. More C-section deliveries were reported after the procedure. There did not appear to be any different in gestational time.

Conclusion: RPC may affect fertility, fetal weight, and mode of delivery, but may not affect gestational time.

Source: Tulchinsky H, Averboukh F, Horowitz N, Rabau M, Klausner JM, Halpern Z, Dotan I. Restorative proctocolectomy impairs fertility and pregnancy outcomes in women with ulcerative colitis. Colorectal Dis. 2013 Feb 11. doi: 10.1111/codi.12171.