Can inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affect my sex life?
Yes. Some women with IBD have pain or discomfort during sex. This can be caused by the disease itself, surgery, and emotional issues related to the disease. Women with IBD may have the following problems during sex:
In women with CD, painful sex is often a sign of a fistula or abscess in the vagina or that the disease is affecting the perineal area. Most women with UC have relatively normal sex lives. But after surgery, sexual problems are more common in women with both UC and CD.
There isn't any one test that can tell you whether or not you have Crohn's disease. And Crohn's disease has many possible symptoms that are the same as symptoms for other health problems. So, to make a diagnosis of Crohn's disease, your doctor is likely to gather information from multiple sources. You'll probably go through a combination of exams, lab tests, and imaging studies with these goals in mind:
Rule out other health problems that have similar symptoms
Make a clear diagnosis of C...
Emotional issues caused by IBD can also interfere with a woman's sex life. Women with IBD have less confidence in their bodies compared with other women. Studies show that women with IBD who are in stable relationships have sex less frequently than other women.
Even though it may be embarrassing, it is important to tell your doctor if you are having sexual problems. She can suggest helpful hints that will help you get back a healthy sex life. For example, some experts suggest that women who use enemas or suppositories do so after sexual intercourse. Plus, women with ileal stomas and external pouches may want to empty the bags prior to sexual relations. Sometimes women cover up their external pouches in ways that make them feel less self-conscious and more attractive during sex.
Painful sex may be a sign that your disease is getting worse. So it is very important you talk to your doctor about any sexual problems. Your doctor may also be able to change your treatment program to make you feel better and in turn help your sex life.
WebMD Public Information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services