Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is Associated With Erectile Dysfunction

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Nelson Vergel

According to the Rome III diagnostic criterion, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is defined as recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort at least 3 days per month in the last 3 months associated with at least two syndromes of improvement with defecation, onset with change in frequency or form of stool.

Psychogenic erectile dysfunction (PED) is the inability to achieve sexual arousal or satisfaction in appropriate situations because of mental or emotional disorders. IBS is strongly associated with psychological diseases, such as depression or anxiety.[SUP][1][/SUP] At least one-third of IBS patients experience depression or anxiety.[SUP][2][/SUP] Both of PED and IBS were related to emotional or psychological diseases, it seems the correlation between IBS and PED may exist.

Organic erectile dysfunction (OED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.[SUP][3][/SUP] The prevalence of OED ranges widely by at least 40%.[SUP][4–6][/SUP] Chao et al.[SUP][7][/SUP] defined the association between IBS and OED, they described that patients with IBS had a 2.92-fold higher risk of developing OED.
Nowadays, the correlation between IBS and PED remains unknown. The objective of this study is to investigate the association between IBS and OED and PED, and analyze the influence of various comorbidities.

A total of 15 533 IBS patients and 62 124 controls without IBS were enrolled in our study. Among the study participants, 48.2% were 49 years of age or younger. Patients with IBS were more likely to develop erectile dysfunction (ED) than those without IBS. Patients with IBS were 2.12 times more likely to develop OED and 2.38 times more likely to develop PED than the controls. There is an increased risk of both PED and OED in patients with IBS. Not only with organic but also PED should be considered when patients with IBS complain of ED.
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