Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Can Adversely Impact Domains of Sexual Function Such as Satisfaction with Sex Life

  • Swathi Eluri
  • Raymond K. Cross
  • Christopher Martin
  • Kevin P. Weinfurt
  • Kathryn E. Flynn
  • Millie D. Long
  • Wenli Chen
  • Kristen Anton
  • Robert S. Sandler
  • Michael D. Kappelman
Original Article
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Abstract

Background

Aspects of sexual health, which can be adversely affected by chronic disease, have been inadequately explored in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Aims

We evaluated patient-reported interest in sexual activity and satisfaction with sex life in a large cohort of IBD patients.

Methods

We conducted a cross-sectional study within the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Partners Internet cohort. Sequential participants completed a 6-question supplemental online survey to examine sexual interest and satisfaction using the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System® (PROMIS®) Sexual Function and Satisfaction measures. One-sample t tests were used to compare interest and satisfaction scores to general population norms.

Results

Among 2569 individuals, 1639 had Crohn’s disease (CD), 930 had ulcerative colitis (UC) or indeterminate colitis, and 71% were women. Mean PROMIS scores for sexual interest were comparable to the general US population in men (CD: 49 and UC: 48 vs. population mean 50) and women (CD: 41 and UC: 40 vs. population mean 42). However, sexual satisfaction scores were lower than the US population in men (CD: 48 and UC: 48 vs. 51) and women (CD: 47 and UC: 46 vs. 49), p < 0.01 for both. Older age, disease activity, depression, anxiety, and pain were associated with lower interest and satisfaction and lowered IBD-specific quality of life.

Conclusions

IBD patients in a large online survey had similar levels of sexual interest but decreased sexual satisfaction compared to the general population. Exploring these sexual health domains during clinical encounters can aid in improving IBD quality of life.

Keywords

Sexual dysfunctions Physiological Sexual health Inflammatory bowel disease Quality of life 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported, in part, by a grant from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and support from the National Institutes of Health P30 DK034987 and T32DK07634. Kathryn Flynn was funded in part by the Research and Education Program Fund, a component of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Author’s contribution

SE: interpretation of data; drafting of the manuscript; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. RC: interpretation of data; drafting of the manuscript; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. CM: study concept and design; data collection; acquisition of data; analysis and interpretation of data; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content; statistical analysis. KW: study design; analysis and interpretation of data; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. KF: study design; analysis and interpretation of data; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. MDL: study design; data collection; analysis and interpretation of data; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. WC: data collection; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. KA: data collection; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. RSS: study design; data collection; analysis and interpretation of data; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. MDK: study concept and design; data collection; analysis and interpretation of data; drafting of the manuscript; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10620_2018_5021_MOESM1_ESM.docx (67 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 66 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Swathi Eluri
    • 1
  • Raymond K. Cross
    • 2
  • Christopher Martin
    • 1
  • Kevin P. Weinfurt
    • 3
  • Kathryn E. Flynn
    • 4
  • Millie D. Long
    • 1
  • Wenli Chen
    • 1
  • Kristen Anton
    • 1
  • Robert S. Sandler
    • 1
  • Michael D. Kappelman
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of North Carolina School of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.University of Maryland Medical CenterUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Duke Clinical Research InstituteDuke University School of MedicineDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Medical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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