UC and lack of sex drive

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/3/2008 2:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm hesitant to raise this topic but it's really starting to take a toll on me and my relationship. I feel that ever since my last flare up began, about a month ago, that my sex drive has really been halted. Now of course if our lives there's all sorts of reasons this could happen and possible sources of anxiety but my UC seems like a pretty good guess as the chief culprit. I was wondering if others had similar reactions to mine.

I trace the impact on my sex drive to a number of UC-related factors, but I'm trying to figure out if these are real or I'm just searching for explanations. One, is the weight loss and body change. I've lost about 10-15 pounds on my current flare (down from ~160), which has taken me down about 1.5 waist sizes and also seems to make it hard to retain body mass overall or to build muscle mass. As a guy this isn't something I'm shooting for. I think I look weaker, or sickly and that doesn't make me feel sexy. The second is that semi-constant pressure in my gi/bladder. Its the lingering physical feeling, like a light pressure on my bladder, that makes it feel like I might have to go the bathroom. I don't actually have to go, until the pressure is greater, but there does seem to be a light pressure there fairly often. Feeling like I might have to crap doesn't help me in the bedroom. Finally, there's the mental side of things, first that I'm kinda dirty or gross down there, that it's not something I want to share intimately and second is that constant fear that at any moment I will have to use the bathroom which makes it hard to get/stay in the mood.

Anyone want to share similar feelings? Reaction? Ways to try and deal with this anxiety? Much appreciated.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 5/3/2008 7:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been married for almost 19 years to such a wonderful, caring and understanding man. There has been so many times that my self image was shot. And who feels sexy when you are running to the bathroom all the time, bloated, gassy, and in pain??? Let alone want to be intimate with your partner! Many of us here have this issue. I really have no advice - I just wanted to say that you are not alone with this issue. Uc is an extremely tough condition to have not only on your body but mentally as well.
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Allergies-Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Spinal Stenosis~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 5/3/2008 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi CBusTaylor,

I can definitely say that my sex drive has been halted for quite a while and I've attributed it to the disease and possibly the medications I am using. Even when in remission and feeling well the drive has completely been lacking and I really can't figure it out. Mind you, at this point in my life I am so preoccupied with other things going on, but I know that isn't an explanation or excuse.

I do not really have any answers or ways to deal with the anxiety. The only thing I can tell you is that from my experience, you may start to discover other stimuli that bring back the drive, much different from the way things were before UC.
24, Female
Dx: Pan-colitis, December 2000
Current Meds: 75 mg 6MP daily (since September 2001)
Previous Meds: Asacol, Prednisone (for moderate to severe flares)
Supplements: Omega 3, Multivitamin, Probiotic (HMF Forte), Green tea

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 679
   Posted 5/3/2008 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   


can you tell us what meds you're on (maybe put them in a signature)? Are you taking probiotics, do you drink a lot of water, are you getting enough rest, are you stressed...thier could be a million reasons besides uc. For me though, uc did affect my sex drive and my twinkie was almost there just for show...but now i'm a lot better.




Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis January 2007
Meds: Remicade, Primal Defense Ultra, Multi-vitamins (also iron, B12, Magnesium and Zinc), Flaxseed/Natures Bounty Fish Oil
Swanson Ultra Caprylic Acid (natural anti-fungal) 600mg x2 daily
Carrot & Garlic supplements (natural anti-fungal) x2 daily
Currently taking herbal meds in the search to regain full health.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 5/3/2008 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had lack of drive due to meds such as anti-depressants, as well as exhaustion. I have never had an extremely strong sex drive.... I always attributed my low sex drive to my UC issues. Recently (about a year ago), I was found to have a tumor on my pituitary gland - which caused massively high levels of prolactin, low levels of testosterone, among other things. My doc's thought it was something I had all my life that grew worse with time....so eventually I had zero sex drive, and even if I did have one my system didnt respond anyway.... I was also infertile... My factory was there but the lights were off. After surgery, full functionality was back (however now with a shock to my system with normal testosterone levels my drive may be a little too strong :) ) - I guess what I am trying to say is that UC may not be the direct cause for lack of sex drive - I suggest looking into it... I never imagined having any issues in that respect.
33 yr old male. UC for 14 years. 5mg pred (tapering off), 12 pills Asacol per day, Dicyclomine (for cramps), 0.5 - 1mg Atavan per day (anxiety), Fish oil pills, Culturelle probiotics. Recent Endonasal brain surgery to remove non-cancerous hormone producing tumor on pituitary gland (And I am still more afraid of my UC!!)

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/3/2008 4:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the suggestion on the signature (hopefully I figured that out), been meaning to do that for a long time. And I recognize certainly that there could be a number of factors that affect my issue. It's hard playing doctor for oneself always, trying to guess what really is the cause of something. I was hoping to see that maybe others here had gone through something similar and then maybe that was support for my theory.
30, M. Diagnosed spring '06.
Key issues are frequency, urgency and blood in stool. No pain, ever!
Predinose [tapering down from 40mg], Entocort [3 (3mg) x 3 daily], Lialda [2 (1.2gm) in the morning], Colestipol [1 (1gm) x 2 daily]
Probiotics: none, they confuse me

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 5/3/2008 7:03 PM (GMT -6)   
CBusTaylor - I found that when I was tapering prednisone that I had absolutely no sex drive. Also, I find that 6-MP also dulls my libido to nearly nothing.

The final bit of advice is that part of it is your own self-appearance linked to your ego. Partners generally don't see you as less sexy. You see youself as less sexy, and thus less confident.

That is what your partner notices. Instead of your usual confidence, making sure they know they are lucky to have you, they notice you feeling that you aren't good enough, and THAT is not attractive... If that makes sense.

What I did was start swimming every morning and got a pair of 5KG weights for home and did a number of sets of reps every morning. I just couldn't handle the gym, but I was able to handle doing that in the safety of my own home. Firstly, this helped my body "settle down" in the morning and empty itself out, and secondly, it really helped me pick up my self confidence again.

Oh, and when I was feeling crap I got all clingy and that didn't go down too well either.
"We are dreamers, shapers, singers and makers..." - Elric, Technomage
  • 28yo male, Australia. Diagnosed at 16yo. Currently enjoying severe pan-colitis.
    - Currently part of the Golimumab trial;
    - 2xColazide, twice a day; 25mg of 6-MP a day; 1xAllopurnol;
    - 1xteaspoon of Metamucil 3 times a day;
    - 1xBIOCeuticals UltraBiotic 45 per day + 1xSB FlorActiv per day.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 5/6/2008 11:20 PM (GMT -6)   
After 20 mg/day for 4 months of prednisone, I would say I was at 40% of normal (decreased gradually over those months). I got upped to 40 mg/day for 5 more months and had almost no drive at all for those months. Once I stopped my taper after my colon was removed, things returned to normal in a month. So I would blame it on the prednisone and not the UC.
Age 0 to 30 - 100% healthy, no meds, no doctor visits, no hospital stays
Oct. 2006 - Symptoms of UC began
3/5/2007 - Diagnosed with UC - Pancolitis (entire colon involved)
20mg-40mg/day Prednisone, 4.8 g/day Asacol - didn't work at all
10/12/2007 - Steroid Induced Osteoporosis from Prednisone and Anemic
add Actonel (75mgx2 pills/month) and daily iron pills
2/12/2008 - open Subtotal Colectomy with Temporary Ileostomy Surgery
Off all meds including iron pills except Actonel and feel normal again
Sept. 2008 - J-Pouch Surgery and possible Ileo Reversal Surgery Scheduled
"When life gives you lemons...make lemonade"

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 5/7/2008 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I find a lot that the mind is willing, but the body, well, just isn't into it. I'm not self conscious about my body, but I do feel weird about possibly getting poop on the bed. I'm also really tired all the time. For me, it's just a bunch of mental weirdness that I have to get past. When we do "do it". it's always enjoyable so again, it's just some weird mental thing I need to overcome.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 5/7/2008 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   

I'll reiterate what a few have mentioned; many of the drugs we take (pred's a big one) have psychological side-effects which include decreased sex-drive. Furthermore, when flaring, I find it hard to think of much else other than if/when I'll get better; nevermind carnal desires.

There are things you can do to try to improve your own self-image -- exercise, etc. But, I'd also suggest chatting with your SO about your concerns about your sex drive; there are a lot of things he/she can also do to help improve your sense of self when you're feeling down due to the drugs and what-have-you.
Universal Colitis since 09/2003
Current Meds:
Asacol (800mg 3x daily),
VSL #3 (4 packet/day),
Calcium Supplement,

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/13/2008 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are taking a 5-ASA drug, most likely your decreased libido is caused by this...I was on Asacol and it's one of the side effects.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 6/13/2008 10:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't remember having any side effect like that from Asacol. It is totally normal to feel like you do just from UC, and if you're tapering steroids, even worse. I try to explain to my dh that I get very sore and bloody and raw in my rectum which is right near there and he still doesn't get the point sometimes. I would guess a woman would be a lot more understanding to your situation than a man for the most part. I think you should talk to your SO about how you are feeling. I probably shouldn't generalize but for women, or at least me, I can take it or leave it. Men seem to get a lot more upset about these kinds of things.
Diagnosed with Left-sided UC in 1995 at age 15, Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocort. Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Aloe Juice, Canasa, Enotcort, Colazol, Anamantle, Remicade, etc... had 1 inch deep rectal ulcer 2004, put on Remicade, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed w/ Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Clorazepate, Lomotil,  Tylenol pm, Lyrica started 1/17/08,  Humira started 4/4/08

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