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Hi everyone,

I am new to the forum as I just had my colectomy in February. I spoke to my Surgeon and GI for the first time since being released from the hospital. They both made it clear to me that fertility could be affected because of the j-pouch. I had done my research so I knew about it but was told by my GI that they recommend waiting on step 2 & 3 of the pouch until I have finished having kids. I am 22 years old and wanted to have kids in my late 20's(like 27-28) after finishing school which I am just re-starting this January. I don't know if I want to wait that long with an ostomy, I was so dead set on having my jpouch done this year, taking this whole year to have surgeries done and recoveries before going back to school. Now I am changing my tune and am not sure. My fears are if I get the jpouch now, end up being infertile later and am not able to have children. Looking at the data, laparoscopic surgeries were a lot better for fertility rates but there is not enough concrete data for me to be sure(I only found one study). I know none of you can make this decision for me but I would love to hear your stories about how hard it was to get pregnant, what kind of surgery you all had and if you had to use ivf or it it was natural. 

Bonus question: Do you guys know if it's possible to have more than one kid, me and my boyfriend of 5 years want two eventually. 

Thank you very much for reading

Original Post

I had the j-pouch created the same time as my colectomy. I had a temporary ostomy for three months. For me, I actually was having issues with fertility before my surgeries, probably due to my disease activity and medications. I actually *accidentally* got pregnant right before my ostomy takedown... oops I now have two beautiful children.

So for me, it wasn’t an issue - I think getting healthier was better for my fertility in general. However, one thing to consider is it seems I don’t scar badly so I never had issue with adhesions or anything. I had both kids via c-section and the OB always noted I didn’t look too scarred up inside. I know that isn’t the case for everyone. 

I had my pouch created at the same time as my colectomy, in the first of two surgeries.  My first surgery was done laproscopically, and three months later I had my take down.  This was in 2011.


Since then, I have had two healthy pregnancies, with no fertility issues.  The only caution my surgeon gave me was he said I had to have a c-section to deliver my kids, rather than deliver naturally, which I had no issues with and my OB was very understanding of.  The recovery from the c-sections was actually much easier than from the colectomy!


I suggest working with your OB on any concerns you have, but my surgeon never recommended waiting to have my pouch in case I wanted children.

I had a three-step surgery and tried to get pregnant about 10 years later (early 30's). Didn't work, so we tried fertility treatments and they didn't work either. I ended up being diagnosed with Endometriosis so it was a double-whammy for conception, hard to say whether it was the surgeries or the disease that prevented it. We have a beautiful little baby through an adoption though, so it is all good  

I guess it depends how happy you are living with an osotmy. I hated mine, you couldn't pay me a million dollars to keep it, but if you are really worried and don't mind having it, that is a different perspective. I think like all these things there is risk, but there are also lots of women on here who have gone on to have healthy pregnancies. I didn't think you could leave the bowel "undetatched" that long though without other issues--did your Dr. say it was OK to leave it for years and years? 

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