Sexual satisfaction and inflammatory bowel diseases: an interdisciplinary clinical challenge

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Jul;215(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2016.01.188. Epub 2016 Feb 3.


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), most commonly Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, have the highest incidence during the reproductive years. IBD and its treatments increase the risk of sexual dysfunction for both men and women with these diseases. Women with IBD often seek care from their gynecologist and may preferentially discuss sexual experiences with them over other providers. An understanding of IBD and its impact on sexual functioning and satisfaction will improve screening, evaluation, and management for these patients. Identifying interdisciplinary providers for referrals, such as pelvic floor physical therapists and health psychologists, is a key component to long-term improvements in sexual satisfaction for women with IBD.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; inflammatory bowel disease; reproductive health; sexual dysfunction; ulcerative colitis.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / physiopathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / psychology
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / complications*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / complications*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology