Is It Safe To Have A Colonoscopy During Pregnancy?

A colonoscopy is a test that your health care provider can use to look at the lining inside of your large intestine. A colonoscopy uses a thin and flexible instrument, known as a colonoscope, to try to detect turmors, polyps, ulcers, and bleeding or inflammation of the colon. Tissue samples may also be collected during a colonoscopy, and any growths that are abnormal may be removed as well.

The general risks involved with a colonoscopy are relatively rare. In some cases (around 1 case in 500) a colonoscopy can cause there to be a tear or perforation in the wall of the intestine. In the case where a polyp or growth is removed during a colonoscopy, there can be excessive bleeding. This is less common, only happening in about 1 case of 1000. The sedatives that are used in a colonoscopy can cause problems as well, but these are even more rare.

In general, it is rare for a health care provider to perform a colonoscopy on you while you are pregnant. Unless there is an immediate health concern, you will probably be advised to wait until after delivery before you have a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy that is being performed electively or for diagnostic purposes can generally be postponed without too much trouble. If your health care provider suggests that you must have this type of exam while pregnant, she may choose to do a more limited type of an examination, such as a sigmoidoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy can be done without the sedatives that are used for a colonoscopy, and reduce the risk that these medications could be passed on to your developing baby.

If you have a condition that requires a colonoscopy, such as ulcerative colitis, you should try to wait until your condition is in remission before becoming pregnant. It is much more likely that these sorts of conditions will stay in remission during your pregnancy if you are in remission before you become pregnant. If your condition is active when you become pregnant, you are more likely to have symptoms while you are pregnant.


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