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‘My sexual desires, everything, my normal life just stops’; A qualitative study of male sexual health in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Ma, Sara ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8876-9700 (2024) ‘My sexual desires, everything, my normal life just stops’; A qualitative study of male sexual health in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Journal of Clinical Nursing. (In Press)

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Abstract

Aim: To describe and interpret the sexual health experiences of men with IBD.
Design: Interpretive qualitative study.
Methods: In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 men with a diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Interviews were digitally audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using constant comparative, thematic analysis.
Results: Three themes were identified from interview data: (1) the disease shapes intimate connections, (2) the disease thwarts sexual experiences, (3) the disease disrupts male gender norms. Men reported that active disease lowered libido and could change pre-, inter- and post-coital sexual practices. All participants noted that health professionals did not initiate discussion of sexual health and well-being needs in the outpatient hospital setting. Men who engaged in receptive anal sex reported a lack of disease-specific guidance and understanding from professionals.
Conclusion: Inflammatory bowel disease can negatively impact the sexual well-being, gender identity and activities of men. Further research is required to identify the care preferences of men with IBD and clarify the barriers and facilitators to sexual health assessment so that nurses may better support the health needs of this population.
Implications for the profession and patient care: This study highlights the need for sexual health and well-being support that is specific to disease and gender in IBD. There is a paucity of information and guidance for men with peri-anal disease and proctitis who engage in receptive anal sex, which requires urgent attention.

Item Type: Article
Status: In Press
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/10000

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