Can You Conceive with IBS? Everything To Know About IBS And Fertility

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Can You Conceive With IBSIf you have IBS and planning for a pregnancy, there are some things to ponder over first. You need to consult with your doctor when you are being treated for IBS because some of the medicines are not safe to take through your conception journey. Your medications may need to be adjusted. So, can you conceive with IBS? Read on to learn everything about IBS and fertility. 

 While there are no reasons to not conceive, your journey towards having a baby may get slightly complicated. IBS is found in almost 20 percent of the population which goes to show that it is a common condition. IBS is a chronic illness that affects your intestines. The specific cause of IBS is unknown and it is difficult to diagnose. A few lifestyle changes help you get relief from the symptoms of IBS.

In This Article

Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Each person has different IBS symptoms and the ways to deal with it are different too.  Generally, you will experience bloating, gas, vomiting, nausea, and constipation. Very few escape these symptoms of stomach and digestion troubles. On a normal day handling IBS takes a toll on the body and mind and having IBS and planning for pregnancy is altogether another story. 

Research has not come up with the knowledge of how exactly IBS affects your fertility or ability to conceive. It is important to remember that once you get pregnant, eventually your bowels are affected by pregnancy, and expectant mothers are more often seen to have constipation while others face diarrhea. IBS often flares up for the worse and some notice the food or triggers that cause IBS to be different. Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause erratic changes in your body and do not leave much to the imagination when you are suffering from IBS.

IBS And Fertility

IBS and fertility

People having irritable bowel syndrome may be on the higher side of infertility risks. However, there is no direct connection between IBS and infertility. You may have IBS and at the same time have trouble conceiving. Your IBS may not be the significant reason for any abdominal pain. There are some health conditions with respect to reproduction and diagnostic testing can derive the answer to abdominal pain.

A gastroenterologist can diagnose health issues like celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, prostatitis, endometriosis, and other probable reproductive illnesses. Good treatment and management of the disease can help you go further with your pregnancy plans. 

There is a chance of IBS affecting fertility through various mechanisms and one is oxidative stress being on the higher side. IBS patients often have a poor diet. Taking care of IBS and having a nutritious diet and exercise can support fertility and reduce the severe effects of IBS. The nutrient absorption is on the lesser side in the digestive tract hence the activity of the antioxidant system takes a blow. This harms the health of eggs and sperm. 

Managing IBS When Trying To Conceive

Managing IBS when trying to conceive

It is essential to manage IBS during your conception period. It is important to consult with your doctor or medical practitioner and ensure that your IBS symptoms are under control and flare-ups do not happen as you prepare to have a baby.

Here are a few important factors that need to be considered and managed well.

1. Medications

 Your medications need to be compatible with conception. Sometimes you may have to stop taking medications or switch over to an entirely different medicine. Consulting both physicians regarding pregnancy as well as IBS will ease your worry.

2. Strategies

Follow the same strategy or routine that was adopted when you were diagnosed with IBS before you planned to conceive. Have small portions of food with frequent intervals and keep yourself hydrated. Stay away from beverages and foods that impact your IBS. Avoid oily or fatty foods. Avoiding any kind of flare-ups is very important.

3. Diet And Nutrition

Keep a watch over the way you are going to add fiber-rich foods to your daily diet. Include oranges, cucumber, carrots leafy greens, strawberries, and blueberries. It is good to have foods and cereals made up of oats and whole grains.

You may have been following a diet to suit the requirements to deal with IBS. It is time to talk with your doctor to come up with a suitable meal plan to help you conceive.

Yogurt in your diet is effective in regulating good bowel movements and totally safe to have when you are trying to conceive. With the doctor’s recommendation perhaps you can go ahead with yoghurt drinks containing active cultures. It is available in capsules or powder form but get the green signal from your doctor first.

Medications And IBS 

Medications and IBS

There are many factors that affect IBS like obesity, dietary choice, alcohol consumption, smoking, and active inflammation. The only link between IBS and fertility is stress in both men and women. Oxidative stress may damage proteins, fats, and DNA. There are antioxidants that may improve symptoms and reduce oxidative stress predominantly in IBS as listed below.

a. Resveratrol

Pro-inflammatory chemicals are inhibited, and anti-inflammatory mediators are increased due to this medication. It is found in purple foods like grapes and blueberries.

b. Quercetin

This acts as an antihistamine and an antioxidant and is good to add when you are planning to conceive

c. Curcumin

This is a medicinal turmeric extract known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It improves stool formation promotes less frequent bowel movements and helps reduce abdominal pain.

d. Soy isoflavones

These are found in soybeans, fava beans, chickpeas, peanuts, and other nuts and fruits.

There are some medications containing Sorbitol to be avoided as they worsen the symptoms of IBS. Steer clear of antidepressants, especially tricyclic antidepressants. Discover foods to be avoided and gauge a best-tolerated diet that constitutes a treatment plan when you are diagnosed with IBS.

So, can you conceive with IBS? The relationship between IBS and fertility is poorly understood. Yet conceiving may not be difficult if you manage your symptoms properly and take every care to avoid flare-ups during this period. Talk to your doctor and stay in regular touch to take every positive step possible toward your goal of having a baby.


1. Why Is It Essential To Consider Ibs When Planning For Pregnancy?

Anxiety during pregnancy can alleviate your stress which may cause IBS flare-ups. So, it is essential to consider IBS when planning for pregnancy.

2. What Are The Common Symptoms And Triggers Of Ibs?

Abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation are the common symptoms of IBS. Fatty, oily, fried foods, dairy, and spicy foods are common triggers of IBS. 

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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