Ulcerative colitis can have a major effect on relationships, particularly intimate ones. Issues of feeling ill or needing to visit the restroom frequently can be socially limiting. Both of these issues can be controlled by adequate treatment of the ulcerative colitis. Medications, for example, corticosteroids can cause changes in mood such as depression or euphoria. Libido also can be reduced. It is important to be open about these issues with intimate partners and with physicians. It may be of value to see a specialist - psychologist or psychiatrist - to help deal with the issues.
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Both medications and surgery have been used to treat ulcerative colitis. However, surgery is reserved for those with severe inflammation and life-threatening complications. There is no medication that can cure ulcerative colitis. Patients with ulcerative colitis will typically experience periods of relapse (worsening of inflammation) followed by periods of remission (resolution of inflammation) lasting months to years. During relapses, symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding worsen. During remissions, these symptoms subside. Remissions usually occur because of treatment with medications or surgery, but occasionally they occur spontaneously, that is, without any treatment.