ED More Common in Men with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease appears to increase the risk of developing erectile dysfunction. The two most common forms of IBD are colitis and Crohn’s disease.

A handful of recently published studies suggest that men with ulcerative colitis or Crohns’s disease, the two primary forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), face a significantly higher risk of developing erectile dysfunction.

In one of these studies, published in the April 2019 issue of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, a Chinese research team found that both men and women with IBD are more likely to suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction.

Data from Multiple Studies Analyzed

That study consisted primarily of a meta-analysis of data from relevant studies that touched on the prevalence of sexual dysfunction among both men and women who were diagnosed with some form of IBD.

In discussing his research team’s findings, lead author Shankun Zhao, M.D., noted that IBD’s effect on sexual function appeared to be more closely related to psychological factors than to physiological causes.

The research team observed: “Inflammatory bowel disease could have a major impact on issues of body image, intimacy, courting, and sexuality. Patients with IBD have commonly reported complaints of elevated anxiety, lack of attractiveness, and feeling alone,. All these factors would result in [sexual dysfunction] symptoms even at a young age.”

ED Widespread in Male IBD Patients

In another study previewed online in March 2019 by Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, a U.S. research team explored the incidence of ED among men enrolled in Rhode Island’s Ocean State Crohn’s & Colitis Area Registry. Among 69 male IBD patients who completed the researchers’ questionnaire, 94 percent reported at least some degree of ED. The mean age of respondents to the questionnaire was 43.4 years.

Yet another study, this one conducted by a team of researchers from Denmark, Ireland, and the United States, compared the purchase of ED medications by men with IBD with ED drug buys by the general population. Those researchers found that men with IBD were far more likely to fill a prescription for an ED drug than members of the general population. This research team published their findings in the September 2018 issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology.

ED Drugs Can Help

The good news here — particularly for men with IBD — is the apparent effectiveness of ED medications in overcoming the symptoms of male impotence related to Crohn’s and colitis.

An earlier study, published in the May 2016 issue of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, compared the prevalence of ED among 1,845 men diagnosed with IBD with the ED rate among 7,380 men with no history of IBD. They found that men with IBD had 1.64-fold higher risk of developing ED than those in the control group.

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Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+