Data on fertility rates and medication safety in men with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are limited.
Dr Paz Valer and colleagues evaluated whether there is a seminal alteration in patients with IBD and, if so, to evaluate the mechanisms that may play a role according to what has been described in the literature.
The team's secondary aim was to evaluate the impact on male sexual function of IBD.
The researchers performed a multicenter, cross-sectional, case series study comparing men with IBD and control subjects.
Semen analysis was performed according to the recommendations of World Health Organization.
The impact on male sexual function was evaluated with the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire.
|Men with Crohn's showed a trend toward poorer semen quality vs ulcerative colitis|
|Inflammatory Bowel Diseases|
The research team found that patients with Crohn's disease had lower sperm concentrations compared with those with ulcerative colitis, and lower seminal zinc levels.
The team noted that patients with Crohn's disease on anti–tumor necrosis factor treatment had better progressive motility, and sperm morphology than those who were not on anti–tumor necrosis factor.
Regarding sexual function, no significant differences were found across patients with IBD and control subjects.
Dr Valer's team concludes, "Men with Crohn's disease showed a trend toward poorer semen quality than those with ulcerative colitis."
"Treatment with anti–tumor necrosis factor drugs does not seem to be associated with poor sperm quality."
"In patients in clinical remission, male sexual function is not affected by IBD."