The Ileostomy Association of Great Britain and Ireland has conducted a survey to assess the incidence and nature of sexual problems among a one in 10 sample of its membership. The analysis was restricted to married ileostomists; of those aged up to 45 years at the time of operation 16% had married and 23% had had children after the operation. The majority had adapted well to the ileostomy, and this appeared true also for the spouse. However, 12% of those who replied ascribed marital tension, unhappiness, or even separation, to the presence of the stoma. There was no evidence of sexual dysfunction from the construction of an ileostomy without rectal excision. After rectal excision nearly one-third of men reported sexual dysfunction, the frequency and severity of which was related to the age at operation. Up to the age of 45, one of 88 men developed complete erectile impotence and 17 partial dysfunction; over this age five of 30 men developed complete and 11 partial erectile impotence. One-third of women reported some dyspareunia after rectal excision.
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