Passing crohn's to a child

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 4/14/2008 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,
Im just looking for some support really. My husband and i are planning on trying for a baby at the end of the month. It's something we both really want and i know we'd be great parents. However, the thought of passing on the DD really troubles me. We've discussed it and are happy to take the chance but at the end of the day i'm the one who would be burdened with the guilt.
Has anyone else here had to deal with this?

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 4/14/2008 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I am the youngest child out of five. None of my siblings or closest elder family members have Crohns, only me. I three adult children, none of them or my five grandbabies have it either. It can happen but, not that common. Good luck on your future baby.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 4/14/2008 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
My family has CD in it. I know they say its rare for it to be passed along, so I'm the lucky one and I have it too :) My Aunt has it on my mom's side, and my dad has IBS (this was the only diagnosis, nothing more concrete as he stumps the doctors..) so I guess since gastro problems are on both sides I suppose I might have had a bit more of a risk..

Anyway I dont blame my family for what I have, I'm glad to be here, and I'm glad I dont have anything worse. I tell myself there is much more out there I'm glad I dont have; and that CD is my battle. I've got all my limbs, I dont have elephantitis, etc... You shouldn't feel bad if it does get passed down, rare as that scenario might be. I wish you luck.
DX with UC 8 years ago/Re-Diagnosed with Crohn's 6/26/2007
Canasa / 1 per day
Azathioprine / 100 MG Day
Lialda(new) 2 per day
Rowasa / 1 per day
Asacol / 12 per day
Levaquin 1 per day
Flogyl 1 per day
Prednizone / 40 MG Day( finished taper!!!) 
Colazal/ 9 per day
Entocort/ 3 per day

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 1017
   Posted 4/14/2008 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I understand, but you do have to remember that you are not passing a terminal illness. My husband has Lupus and I have CD. We have a 9 year old daughter. I had her after I knew I was sick. I know she has a 50/50 chance, but I would not have missed having her in my life because of this disease.

I know that even if she does end up with active CD that I can teach her and support her through it. I had to learn on my own so I think it can be easier for her. This is how I do not let myself feel guilty about it. There is nothing to feel guilty about anyway.

Good luck with your decision. I really hope you find peace with whatever you choose to do.
Red (Lee Ann)
 Happy Bunny 
      When life gives you lemons, squirt juice in your enemy's eyes.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 4/14/2008 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
My mom has UC (also an IBD) and I have crohns, so far I'm her only child out of 6 that got IBD like her.

According to research if one parent has IBD (either CD or UC) their offspring has an estimated 10- to 15- fold increased rish of developing IBD compared with those who don't have a parent with IBD....parents are not necessarily the only way it can be passed down.

Also, smoking (including second hand smoke) is one known trigger for CD specifically.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 4/14/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I have 2 girls, both were conceive before my crohns diagnosis. 3 children was always the "plan", but the plan has changed beause of my crohns. We have been through the ringer with my oldest. She is 7. They have just diagnosised her with celiac disease. I personally have trouble dealing with passing this disease on, so IF we do decide that the time is right for another child, we will start the adoption process.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 4/14/2008 2:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou all for your replies. I don't know where my crohn's comes from, no one in my family has it, i think it would be easier on me if someone did as they'd understand what i go through and as supportive as they are, they can never fully appreciate what i go through. I've grown up kind of feeling that i have to be 'perfect' and never make mistakes so trying to 'do it all' in life and not feel like im letting anyone down is tough. So i could offer a child a huge amount of support that ive never had.

If i had of inherited this from a family member i would never blame them for it-people pass on all kind of diseases, conditions, traits and there's alot worse you could end up with.

Even with this DD im very blessed in life, i have the most wonderful husband and an incredibly strong relationship not only with him but my friends and family.

Anyway, im just rambling now, good to get some thoughts down though.

PS, we've considered adoption but im not sure we'd be excepted because of my crohn's, there's a very tough selection process in the uk.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 4/14/2008 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
My Mom had CD, and there is a strong trait on her side, and my Dad has AS, both can be inherited. I have one adopted sister, so biologically I'm an only child. I've already got the CD and my joints are bad, so the AS may be right around the corner. BUT, I would never blame either of my parents. If anything, I thank my Mom for showing me how to have a wonderful life despite this DD.

I had my older daughter before I was Dx, but I didn't think twice before trying for a second child. There are so many things that we hand down to our kids, and in the grand scheme of life, CD is sooooo manageable. It could be cancer, diabetes, heart disease or any number of other things that could ultimately kill them. If diabetes or heart disease ran in your family would you think twice about having kids?

I hope and pray that neither of my daughters gets CD, but I've lived my life in a manner so that if they ever do, they will know that they can do whatever they want. They may have to make some adjustments or make some pit stops along the way, but you can still live a great life. CD isn't a death sentence.

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 4/14/2008 5:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Zanne...that last paragraph was a good point. I also never use my crohns as an excuse to not do something. In fact, I hate it when it does interrupt my life. It is all a matter of adjusting, and dealing with whatever comes up and enjoying life to the fullest.

Lady G
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 4/14/2008 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
My dad has Crohns, and a VERY severe case of it too...him and my mom(healthy) of course had me and yes, I DO have Crohns too....however I would NEVER of wanted them not to have me, even during the days I am in the most horrid of pain and torture I don't think bad of them for having me....LIVING is worth more then not having that choice at all if they had been too afraid. When my husband and I decide to have kids, it won't hold me back either, I'd rather give the kid the choice of course to live then never try at all. As others said, CD isn't a death sentance and all.
27 year old, married. Diagnosed with Crohns at 17, suspected of having for at least a year or so before that.  Alot of Crohns in my family history.  No surgeries yet. Imuran treatment with Prednisone tapering at moment.  Possible Fistula.

not creative
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 466
   Posted 4/14/2008 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
My great uncle from my mother's side has it and I have it, that's it. I don't blame anyone for getting it (how could I?) but I know my mother feels very guilty knowing she's some sort of carrier. She knows I don't blame her.
Laurenne, 23 Student @ University of California, Davis.
Dx'd w/ IBS and CD in 2002
On Humira, Strattera, Zoloft, (Multivitamin, Flax Oil, and Omega complex when I remember.)

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/14/2008 6:19 PM (GMT -6)   
CD has made me 10 times stronger than the person I would have been without it. You may think you are hurting the child, but god made us the way we are for a reason. If he or she has crohns disease they will learn to live with it. Dont keep yourself from having kids...because of the possibility.

Im glad my parents had me....Would I say ...."they should have never had me to begin with knowing I might get CD" Heck no...!
DX with CD 1996
Been on too much to list, Currently taking Remicade/6 weeks, Reglan, Prilosec, Pentasa, and a few other things.
2 surgeries
Age 24/ Male/weight sadly down to 100lbs

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 4/14/2008 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a parent who has CD. I have never said that I wish they never had me though. I will be honest, like all of us I'm sure...I do say I wish I never had CD. I do pray that my children do not inherit it from me, I was diagnosed after my children were born. However, I feel that with all of the modern advances, I am better off and have far more options than my parents did. I truly believe that our children will have more options and be even wiser than we are.

It is a hard choice for you and wish you the the best but not matter how our children come into our lives, they are a gift to enjoy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 4/14/2008 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
this hit my mom hard as she grew up seeing her father go through it, and it eventually took his life as at the time they didnt have the meds they have now so he always had surgery and it came down to small bowel syndrome - he needed surgery to live but if they did he wouldnt have enough intestines left and he'd die. so that sucked. i think i was like 5 at the time so i was too young to really understand. my mom and her siblings dont have the disease. but then it was hard for my mom cos she had to see me go through it. my brother and sister so far are fine. my sister has 2 daughters and they are ok.

i've wrestled with this myself. i came to the conclusion that i'd have kids. it took a while but here is why: kids are always a risk. the baby could come out deformed, or have a host of other physical ailments. it could be retarded, have ADHD, or just be slow. or it could be totally healthy and a prodigy. it is a total roll of the dice. the difference is that we know we have a genetically linked disease and thus run the risk of passing it on to our offspring and thus them to theirs and so forth. but it is only a CHANCE, not a guarantee. one thing i've noticed as i got older is that everybody has got something. maybe not today, but eventually they will get theirs. we already know what our "thing" is. some in life get it early, some later. look at all the stuff out there: cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, parkinson's, MS, the list goes on and on. you have NO IDEA what your kid is gonna come out looking like or develop like or be healthy or have all kinds of problems and when/if they manifest themselves. two healthy people can produce sick kids. like i said before, it is one giant roll of the dice. but virtually everything in life is. all you can do is say a little prayer and hope for the best but be prepared for the worst and raise your children in such a way that when bad stuff happens they are emotionally prepared to deal with it.
Crazy Harry

Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 4/15/2008 7:28 AM (GMT -6)   

I too was diagnosed after my daughters were born.  I'm the only one in the family who has CD.  I love my children and of course I wish they will never be sick neither from CD nor from any other disease in the world!!!!!  At the beggining when I was diagnosed I felt sooo guilty about the possibility that my children will have CD in the future. Now, after so many years, I finally made peace with myself. 

Children are a blessing, unfortunately Crohns is not the only disease they could get, so I pray everyday for them to be healthy and happy.

I know for me having children was the best decision I ever made in my life, because they make my life so much better!


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 4/15/2008 7:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello,I do understand!! Nobody in my family had any forms of IBD,although,I do "suspect" a cousin. Anyway,last Friday,I attended a very informative Pediatric GI conference (I'm a Pediatric RN),and I specifically asked the Peds GI,what is the percentage of my kids getting Chrohns since I have it,and according to him,it is 8% He did say,and my GI totally agrees that our world is too "sterile" now,people not allowing their kids to have pets,and play in the dirt,this also coincides with kids getting allergies. My kids should be o'kay,we have pets and they LOVE playing in the dirt!! HaHa!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope this is a little helpful :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 4/15/2008 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
when I was pregnant with my 3rd son I asked the genetic specialist what the chances were of me passing this on to my kids and she said it was only about 4-6%. That is very reassuring. No previous generations of my family are known to have had any IBD history, but so far 3 out of 5 of myself and my siblings have it, my brother and I have crohn's and my sister has ulcerative colitis. Who knows why. We were raised on a farm, always had and played with animals and definatly played in the dirt. My sister had her Dx at 18, my brother at 17, and I was lucky enough to go until 30, so who knows where or why it shows up but atleast the chances are slim that we will pass it on.
Dx CD Oct '06  mom of 3 boys ages 11, 14,and my baby born Oct. 07. remarried July '05

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 4/15/2008 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou all, what lovely people you are. Your replies have made me shed a few tears-they were so touching. Im going to copy them all down to read them in the future.

I've always tried not to let my CD stop me doing anything and im not going to start now! You all have such a lovely perspective on things, i'll always remember your words.

Thankyou all for taking the time to write, you've made me feel alot more positive xx

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/22/2008 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I asked my doc not to long ago the same question. Why am I the unlucky one? Will my beautiful 5 year old get it too? Every time she gets a stomach ache I panic. Well, he said that CD is still considered "rare" in that the right genetic markers (there are many) have to all be there for the disease to present itself. Having one sick parent and one healthy decreases the chances of 5%. To alleviate my anxieties he told me that I could have my kiddos pediatrician draw labs for an "IBD panel". It's new and could let us know if she is at risk for developing the disease. I haven't done it yet. I guess I am scared.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 734
   Posted 4/22/2008 9:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Life is life, but nothing can replace the love of a child! I have two wonderful teenagers that bring joy to my life daily!!! Wouldn't change a thing! They are two of the most loving caring people I know, besides their father.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4053
   Posted 4/22/2008 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
It really is a very small percentage, and I agree with CrazyHarry that you are always taking risks when you have a child, your alternative is to hide in fear and not live your life. I have two great teen-agers with no symptoms of least so far. Good luck to you!
49 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 8 250mg pills per day, Cipro 1 week/month, Metamucil, probiotics

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 4/23/2008 5:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou all again for the replies, i've got them all written down so i can read them when i have an emotional wobble!

Well, we are officially starting to try this weekend so i will leave upto the hands of fate/god! Who knows what will happen, it's all a big adventure good or bad and i know i've got lots of love and support whatever happens xx

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/24/2008 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I fully understand. I have crohns and so does my husband. We had a baby in 2004 and we were both (my husband and I) were diagnosed in 2005. I was told by my GI Dr. that it is a 15% chance of passing it down. But then again no one nose if its inherited. My husband dosent have anyone in his family with Crohns and I have my Grandfather on my Moms side that has it and my Aunt on my Dads side that has it. So its really hard to tell. Best of luck, I would talk with your Dr.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 4/24/2008 2:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't have much comment on this post, as I too fear passing this on to a son or daughter.

Anyways, I do know a really awesome movie with Uma Thurman that is based on genetics.

Check it out if you like Sci-Fi. It's called Gattaca.

Take Care

CD dx @ 13 (1987)
Prednisone 15mg every other day
Imuran 100mg day
Celexa 20mg day
Pain Meds
Vitamins + B12 Injections Once Per Week

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 4/24/2008 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Amy2 said...
I fully understand. I have crohns and so does my husband. We had a baby in 2004 and we were both (my husband and I) were diagnosed in 2005. I was told by my GI Dr. that it is a 15% chance of passing it down. But then again no one nose if its inherited. My husband dosent have anyone in his family with Crohns and I have my Grandfather on my Moms side that has it and my Aunt on my Dads side that has it. So its really hard to tell. Best of luck, I would talk with your Dr.
Researchers do know that there is a genetic link involved with IBD...
It's estimated that if ONE parent has IBD (either UC or CD) that their offspring has a 10- to 15- fold increased risk of also developing the disease, so if both parents have an IBD then the risk is higher.
There's also the trigger side, a person can be genetically predisposed to getting IBD (because of their inherited genes) but it still has to be triggered.
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

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