Is Crohn's Disease Sexually Transmitted?

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

Is Crohn's disease a sexually transmitted infection (STI)? Is it even contagious?

Doctor's response

No. You cannot "get" Crohn's disease from another person. However, it may spread in an individual's gastrointestinal tract. The cause of the spread is usually due to whatever factors precipitated the inflammatory bowel disease. The spread of the disease in the individual may be reduced by methods such as anti-inflammatory medications, medications to reduce diarrhea, nutritional therapy to reduce exposure to possible food irritants, and even surgical intervention.

What causes the disease remains unknown, but investigators suspect there are genetic, immunologic, environmental, dietary, vascular, microbial, and even psychosocial factors that play roles in triggering or aggravating the disease.

Risk factors for Crohn's disease include

  • under 30 years of age,
  • family history of the disease,
  • white and/or Jewish ethnicity,
  • cigarette smoking and living in a city with a “northern” climate, and
  • eating a diet that includes fatty foods and refined or processed foods.

For more information, read our full medical article on Is Crohn's disease.

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REFERENCE:

Ghazi, L.J., MD. "Crohn Disease." Medscape. Updated: Jan 06, 2017. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/172940-overview>.

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Reviewed on 5/31/2018