Is Crohn's Disease Sexually Transmitted?

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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Last Editorial Review: 5/31/2018
References
Ghazi, L.J., MD. "Crohn Disease." Medscape. Updated: Jan 06, 2017. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/172940-overview>.