Starting a family

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It is particularly important to know that Crohn’s disease is not an obstacle for a successful partnership, sex life or becoming a parent. Crohn’s disease has usually no direct influence on family planning. A relative risk of passing down Crohn’s disease to your offspring is with regard to a degree of kinship between 0 and 36 percent. Therefore, do not exclude human contact or sex from your life, but make necessary adjustments to live a happy and full life.

Contraception

If you want to postpone family planning, then in principle there are no obstacles to the use of conventional contraception methods.

During a remission period, these methods are generally reliable. This does however not apply to the acute phase. During a flare-up period, the efficacy of the pills is limited – including due to constant diarrhoea.

In any case, it recommended that you discuss contraception options with your doctor and anticipate potential side effects.

Reproduction and fertility

There are no generally known effects of Crohn’s disease on male and female fertility, especially in the period of remission.

During the flare-up period, however, the fertility in women may be reduced and you may have a more difficult time becoming pregnant, but only temporarily.

In men, erection and ejaculation can be negatively impacted by disease-related complications, such as abscesses, fistulas and surgeries.

The right moment?

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Starting a family and parenthood is one of the most wonderful experiences in life. Despite the presence of the disease, there is no reason that would go against the fulfilment of your wish together with your partner.

Follow this rule: from a medical point of view, the best moment to conceive is when Crohn’s disease is in remission. During this period, fertility is not reduced, and the pregnancy will progress without complications and generally no different than in healthy women. The risk for complications, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, is increased when the disease is active at the time of conception and during pregnancy.

Talk to your doctor

The conception, the course of pregnancy or taking medicines for Crohn’s disease during planning a family or when you are already pregnant, are topics, which a woman should discuss with her gastroenterologist and her gynaecologist.

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