- Do my children have an increased chance of getting IBD if I have it and should they be screened?
- Will having IBD affect my chances of having children?
- I am going travelling, should I have my vaccinations?
- Can you catch IBD?
- Where can I find out more information?
They do have an increased risk of roughly 5% of developing IBD, but that still means there is a 95% chance they will not and subsequently there is no need for any investigations unless of course they develop symptoms.
Generally your fertility is not affected merely by having IBD. However, it is important to keep your disease well controlled before and during pregnancy since keeping well maximises your chance of conceiving and avoiding complications during pregnancy. Hence you should discuss your plans with your gastroenterologist prior to conceiving if possible, and certainly in early pregnancy. Some forms of surgery may decrease fertility, especially pouch surgery. However many women with pouches have had completely normal pregnancies and deliveries. Most medicines are safe to continue, though you should discuss this with your gastroenterologist. The main exceptions to this are mycophenolate and methotrexate, which should not be used before or after conception as they can cause severe damage to the baby. Whilst on this drug you and your partner are advised to use two forms of contraception.
Having IBD does not prevent you having all your vaccinations, but some of the medicines you may take do restrict what you can take. If you are on immunosuppressant drugs such as azathioprine then you should not be given 'live' vaccines (for example BCG, yellow fever and polio) and you should always check with your doctor.
No. There is no evidence that IBD is an infectious disease.
For excellent and clear guidance I recommend the website of the National Association for Crohn's and Colitis www.nacc.org.uk which has an excellent advice section.