Sex and Intimacy
IBD affects patients of all ages, but onset is often during the first 2–3 decades of life. Consequently the diagnosis often coincides with when individuals are developing relationships and becoming sexually active. It is well-recognised that chronic diseases can impact on sexual function. Unfortunately this subject is rarely discussed with IBD patients in busy clinics, despite increasing evidence that it affects these patients. Various factors impact on sexual function including psychological factors (anxiety, depression and body image), disease activity and symptoms, medications and sexual health. Discussing concerns and problems with patients is important, and there are simple measures that can be made, and resources available, to help these patients remain in successful relationships.
KeywordsSexual function Intimacy Relationships Psychosocial
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