Published online Sep 28, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i36.5423
Peer-review started: June 10, 2019
First decision: July 21, 2019
Revised: August 5, 2019
Accepted: August 19, 2019
Article in press: August 19, 2019
Published online: September 28, 2019
The impact of a chronic disease such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on sexual functioning and body image can significantly impair the quality of life of patients. This review considers the sexual and fertility aspects of IBD patients and their daily management. Modern IBD healthcare management should include appropriate communication on sexuality and consider psychological, physiological, and biological issues. Patients with IBD have less children than the general population, and voluntary childlessness is frequent. The most influential factors reported by IBD patients who experience fertility alteration are psychological and surgery-related problems. Pregnancy is a major concern for patients, and any pregnancy for IBD patients should be closely followed-up to keep the chronic disease in a quiescent state. Preconceptional consultation is of great help.
Core tip: The impact of inflammatory bowel diseases on sexual and fertility is of major concern for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Quality of life of IBD patients can be impaired and their management remains challenging. Communication and counseling are crucial aspects in the management of all IBD patients and should be implemented in IBD centers.