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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Jan;5(1):87-94.

Sexual function in persons with inflammatory bowel disease: a survey with matched controls.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.



Sexual problems as a result of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) play an important role in patients' worries and concerns. We aimed to evaluate sexual function in men and women with IBD relative to healthy controls.


A random sample of the national patients organization was surveyed (n = 1000). Age- and sex-matched friends were used as controls; in addition, controls were selected from a large health insurance cohort. Sexual function was evaluated using the Erectile Index of Erectile Function, and the Brief Index of Sexual Function in Women; impaired function was defined as a score less than -1 on a z-normalized scale. The results are reported as age-adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals based on conditional logistic regression.


The response rate was 41% in cases. Overall, 153 male and 181 female matched pairs were available for analysis. The proportion of patients who were married, had a partner, and were sexually active were similar between cases and controls. Depression was the most important determinant of impaired sexual function. Men with IBD in remission or mild activity had similar Erectile Index of Erectile Function scores as compared with controls. Comorbidity and antihypertensive therapy impacted on single subscores. Women with IBD showed impaired function irrespective of disease activity as compared with healthy controls. Results in women varied by type of control. High socioeconomic status was a protective factor for several subscores in women.


Depression is the most important determinant of low sexual function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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