Background: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic disease. Sexual behavior is often altered in chronic illness. The aim of this study was to evaluate sexual behavior in patients affected with GERD before and after medical or surgical treatment in comparison to healthy controls (HC). Methods: Upper GI endoscopy and 24-h ambulatory pH testing were performed to confirm GERD in symptomatic patients. GERD patients completed an anonymous questionnaire on sexual life before and after medical or surgical treatment. Results: Compared with HC, untreated patients with GERD showed more frequent difficulty in attaining orgasm and painful intercourse. GERD patients after surgical treatment had significantly more difficulty in attaining orgasm, while after continuous medical treatment GERD patients compared with HC had significantly more difficulty in attaining orgasm, higher painful intercourse, lower sexual desire, and perceived more frequently that the partner was unhelpful. When compared with untreated conditions, GERD patients after surgical treatment had a significant improvement in attaining orgasm and in painful intercourse but a significant decrease in sexual desire, a lower satisfaction with their sexual life, and a higher prevalence of an unhelpful partner, whereas GERD patients after medical treatment had a decrease in all indices of sexual behavior. Conclusion: Untreated GERD is associated with disorders in sexual behavior. Compared with HC, only the surgical group partially improved after treatment.
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