Managing Sexual Function With Erectile Dysfunction and Ulcerative Colitis

People with UC often find it difficult to get and keep an erection for sexual purposes. It’s important to speak with your doctor about this, and not to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Ananthakrishnan feels that doctors are becoming more willing to bring up this topic with patients and that they should be doing so more regularly. He also suggests asking for referrals to a urologist or a sex therapist.

Talk to Your Doctor

IBD can impact all areas of your life, including your sexual health. It’s important to talk openly about it with your doctor so they can help you find solutions. Erectile dysfunction is when you regularly fail to achieve or maintain a firm enough erection for sexual activity. It’s a common problem that affects up to 20 million Americans. It can be caused by problems with blood flow, nerves, or hormone levels. It can also be caused by psychological factors, such as anxiety about sexual performance.

This can lead to pain, cramps, diarrhea, and other symptoms that can make it hard to have an erection. Despite the importance of this issue, few doctors discuss sexual dysfunction with their patients, according to research from 2014. Only 14 percent of gastroenterologists bring up sexual health with their patients most or all of the time. The rest only do it sometimes. It may be because the topic is embarrassing or they don’t have time, but it’s important to bring up your concerns.

Your doctor will ask you questions about your sexual function, and they may want to know if you have had any other issues with your reproductive system. Or if you use Fildena Super Active during sex, tell your doctor, and they’ll tell you that it’s okay to do so. Otherwise, you’ll get bad news from the doctor. They will probably do a physical exam, and they might send you to a urologist if needed. Your urologist will likely ask you the same questions that your gastroenterologist did, and they may perform a pelvic ultrasound as well. You can expect your doctor to be understanding and empathetic if you are talking about sex issues with them.

Be Open About Bowel Movements

People with UC often worry that they won’t be able to maintain an erection during sex, or that they will have to run to the bathroom too many times. It’s important to be honest with your partner about the way that your disease affects you, and not try to hide it from them.

Talking to your doctor about sex and bowel movements is an important step, but it’s also a good idea to open up to your family and friends, too. If you have a close support network, they can be a great source of emotional support and can help with the stress of dealing with UC.

Even if your bowel movements are fairly regular, it’s still important to talk to your doctor about them. A study published in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases this year found that men with UC had higher rates of erectile dysfunction than those without it. The researchers suggest that this may be due to inflammatory cytokines (proteins created as part of the UC process) that have central effects, rather than just local ones.

In addition, some people with UC have scars or fistulas (abnormal connections between the intestine and skin) that can make certain positions during sex painful, or even impossible. Talking to your doctor about sex, and trying out different positions that are less intense can help with this problem. your doctor to recommend a lubricant that’s safe for you is another option.

Be Prepared for Sex

Sex is a fundamental part of any healthy relationship. While UC symptoms like diarrhea, pain, and fatigue may require some adjustments, they should not stop you from enjoying intimacy with your partner. Talking openly with your doctor about sexual function is important. But many doctors don’t broach the subject with their patients, citing time constraints or patient privacy. This is a shame because most IBD doctors agree that treating sexual dysfunction is an essential part of the overall treatment.

Erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems can be a major cause of distress and decreased quality of life in people with inflammatory bowel disease, according to several studies. In one, researchers found that men with newly diagnosed UC experienced significantly higher levels of sexual dysfunction than those without the condition.

The causes of these problems are not always clear. But some factors may contribute, including medications, stress, depression, anxiety, and low income or socioeconomic status. Also suggest that people with UC are more likely to suffer from a range of sexual dysfunctions, such as male primary or secondary impotence; male pre-ejaculatory incompetence; female primary or situational orgasmic dysfunction; and vaginismus.

Discussing these issues with your doctor can help you find solutions. Some of these issues can be addressed by adjusting your medication, using a lubricant, or trying other positions. Some of the more severe problems, such as fistulas, may be repaired with surgery or other treatments. If needed, your doctor may refer you to a sex therapist who can provide counseling and support.

Ask for Referrals

If you have a good relationship with your healthcare professional, ask them for a referral to a specialist. Despite UC’s known role in SD, “I still feel that male and female sexual health is not being asked about as often as it should be” at gastroenterology appointments, says Dr. Ananthakrishnan. That’s in part because doctors often have limited time and want to ensure they cover all your gastrointestinal symptoms. But he also believes that a growing awareness of the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in people with UC is making many physicians more willing to raise it.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a common problem that affects more than 20 million Americans. It’s also a side effect of certain medications and can result from aging or mental health conditions such as depression. Psychological factors like anxiety over performance play a role in virtually every case of ED.

Research has shown that several factors related to UC and its downstream symptoms can contribute to a person’s erectile dysfunction, including psychological distress, malnutrition, and changes in body image. One study published in the July 2017 issue of the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis found that patients who had higher levels of clinical colitis activity and depression also reported poorer sexual function.

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