Sex & IBD

Decreased libido

Decreased libido means that you don’t feel like having sex or being intimate. Libido can decline or disappear in people with IBD because of depression or physical exhaustion from dealing with a flare.

IBD medications may affect your libido by making you tired. Steroids may have an effect because of hormonal imbalances. IBD can also affect sexuality because people feel self conscious because of scarring from surgeries or an ostomy.

All of this is very normal, and you have lots of company among people with IBD. Your sex drive will return as you begin to feel better physically and as your self image improves.

If you are feeling depressed or self conscious, talk to someone on your care team about it. Opening up like that can begin the process of getting help that will guide you through a difficult time and improve your outlook on sex and intimacy.

Common fears of IBD and sex

Many IBD patients fear that they will be incontinent during intercourse. Many people also worry about pain during sex.

If you have these concerns, talk with someone on your care team about them.