Knowledge of the extent and the impact of sexual dysfunction and interpersonal relationships in men with inflammatory bowel disease is scarce.
Dr O'Toole and colleagues from Massachussetts, USA summarized the current literature on sexual function in male patients with IBD and to provide a critical review of the IBD-related medical, surgical and psychological complications that can result in impaired quality of sexual health.
The team collected relevant articles, and performed PubMed/Medline and Embase searches using Boolean search phrases.
Reported rates of sexual dysfunction in male IBD patients range from 10% to 50%.
The team found that 33% to 50% of patients report that sexual desire and satisfaction deteriorated after IBD diagnosis.
|The role of testosterone deficiency should be further explored|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
Of those patients who were sexually inactive, half of these attributed lack of intercourse to underlying IBD.
A striking finding reproduced in numerous studies is that disease activity relates strongly to impaired psychological function, and the most consistently reported risk factor for sexual problems in IBD patients is co-existing mood disorders.
The team observed that hypogonadism is a complication of IBD and its therapies.
The researchers report that the role of testosterone deficiency should be further explored as a potentially treatable and reversible factor in sexual dysfunction.
Dr O'Toole and colleagues comment, "By understanding what factors contribute to poor sexual functioning in our patients, we can strive to minimise adverse psychosocial events."
"Further insight into this complex relationship requires an IBD-specific measure of sexual function in male patients."
"We recommend screening for and treating co-morbid depression, testosterone deficiency and striving for clinical remission to prevent psychosexual dysfunction in male patients with inflammatory bowel disease."