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J Crohns Colitis. 2017 Oct 27;11(11):1347-1352. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjx100.

Frequency of and Factors Associated With Sexual Dysfunction in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

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Hépato-gastro-entérologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Bordeaux, France.
Hépato-gastro-entérologie and Inserm U954, Lorraine University, Nancy, France.
Médecine du travail ERDF-GRDF, Lille, France.
Hépato-gastro-entérologie, Hôpital Louis-Mourier, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France.



Improvement of quality of life is a main objective in inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] management. Data on sexual dysfunction [SD] in IBD are scarce. This study compared rates of SD between IBD patients and healthy controls [HC], and searched for predictors of SD.


All consecutive IBD patients seen in two tertiary centres during 2 months were invited to fill an anonymous validated questionnaire on their sexual function [Female Sexual Index Function and International Index of Erectile Function]. The same questionnaires were filled by HC and by patients with irritable bowel syndrome [IBS] enrolled as a second comparative group.


In all, 358 IBD patients filled the questionnaire [192 women]-including 238 with Crohn's disease and 120 with ulcerative colitis-and 110 HC [54 women] and 107 IBS patients [54 women]. In women, SD rates were 53.6% in IBD vs 28% in HC [p < 0.01] and 77.5% in IBS [p = 0.10] patients; in men, figures were 16.9% in IBD, 7.4% in HC [p = 0.64], and 26.4% in IBS [p = 0.60]. An erectile dysfunction [ED] was reported by 43% of IBD patients, 13% of HC [p < 0.01] and 55% of IBS patients [p = 0.60 vs IBD]. Predictors of SD and ED were social and emotional functioning, anxiety in women and depression in men. IBD activity was not associated with SD.


In IBD, 54% of women have an SD and 43% of men an ED. These rates are significantly higher than in HC, mostly driven by psychological factors, and independent from disease severity.


Crohn’s disease; Quality of life; inflammatory bowel disease; sexual dysfunction; sexuality; ulcerative colitis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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