In active phase, women may have problems getting pregnant if they are underweight and eating poorly. Additionally, severe inflammation in the small intestine can affect normal function of ovaries, thus affecting fertility. Some research studies have found that women with active Crohn’s may have lower levels of a hormone associated with “ovarian reserve” (egg cells capable of being fertilized), especially if they are over 30. Inflammatory bowel disease can also cause adhesions (bands of scar tissue) that affect the fallopian tubes. However, women should have no more difficulty becoming pregnant than those without a Crohn’s disease in remission phase.
In general, male fertility is not affected by Crohn’s disease. However, 70%-90% of CD patients will need a surgical intervention at some point in the course of their disease. As the consequence of surgery, sexual dysfunction may occur. Sexual dysfunction is one of the etiologies of male infertility, and it includes erectile dysfunction (inability to get or keep an erection) and ejaculatory dysfunction (variety of ejaculatory disorders) such as retrograde ejaculation (entry of semen into the bladder instead of going out through the urethra during ejaculation) and anejaculation (no ejaculation). Certain medications can also lower sperm count and cause abnormal sperm anatomy or otherwise adversely affect a man's chance of fertilize naturally.