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How Does IBD Affect Your Sex Life?

April 28th, 2017

How Does IBD Affect Your Sex Life?

How Does IBD Affect Your Sex Life?

Painful sex is a common IBD associated complication. Consulting a doctor is necessary. People suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are always concerned about their intimacy. They tend to hide their emotions and feel embarrassed to converse about their problems to a doctor or nurse. In majority of the IBD cases, the sexual life of people remains unaffected. But during a flare-up, people may exhibit a lack of interest in sexual activities. Fortunately, along with IBD, the psychological issues associated with it can also be medically addressed.

If other treatment options become invalid for treating a certain IBD case then the doctors recommend surgery. It is important that the patient discusses everything with the partner and clearly thinks through before signing up for this option. Surgery is usually the last option and is only done for the betterment of patient’s health.

Surgery As A Treatment Option For IBD

Fish Oil Benefits For Male Sexual Health ImageAs stated above, the doctor only recommends surgery when it is the only treatment option left. Surgery can provide a cure for patients with ulcerative colitis. However, for patients with Crohn’s disease, surgery may offer relief for a certain episode. It may also help the patients who have multiple parts of their intestine affected badly.

Majority of the patient who undergo surgical procedures for the treatment of IBD recover completely and successfully with only some minor complications. However, the patient must be educated thoroughly about the few changes that may occur after the completion of the surgery.

Post-Surgery Changes In Women

  • Reduced sex drive or in other word diminished or low libido. This change may occur due to patient’s own perception about her looks and body and the patient may think that she is less attractive after the surgery.
  • Reduction of sexual feelings and poor sex drive can lead to vaginal dryness. Even if the intercourse is done, it is uncomfortable, painful and short-lasting. This can be handled with switching to a different sex position which may embark excitement and may help in arousal.
  • Using a lubricant gel may also help in alleviating the pain associated with sex. Talking to the partner and discussing new exciting horizons to the relationship can have a positive impact. In order to feel better the patient must first find herself attractive.

Post-Surgery Changes In Men

Surgery, at times, may damage or cut the nerves present around the genital organs located near the bowel area. As a result, the patient may find difficulty in obtaining a strong erection or even ejaculating. Most of times the nerves recover back to the normal state but it may take a couple or more years to happen. Seeking the partner’s patience will help in exploring other methods for gaining sexual pleasure.


  • Jedel, S., Hood, M. M., & Keshavarzian, A. (2015). Getting personal: a review of sexual functioning, body image, and their impact on quality of life in IBD patients. Inflammatory bowel diseases, 21(4), 923.

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