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Is Erectile Dysfunction Always Bothersome?

Is Erectile Dysfunction Always Bothersome? Men who have trouble with erections might not always be bothered by their situation, suggests research published last fall in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Doctors who treat men with erectile dysfunction (ED) might consider their patients’ levels of sexual desire, the authors noted.

The research team analyzed almost 4,000 questionnaires completed periodically from 2,042 men who had undergone radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate gland) for treatment of prostate cancer. ED is a common occurrence after this type of surgery.

In addition to asking about erectile function, the questionnaires asked whether the men felt interested in sex and whether sexual issues had been a problem for them.

The scientists found that men with high levels of sexual desire tended to be bothered by poor erectile function. However, for men with low sexual desire, ED was not necessarily bothersome.

“We demonstrated that the relationship between erectile function and sexual bother is moderated by sexual desire,” the authors wrote.

The researchers noted that their study involved only men who had undergone radical prostatectomy. It was unclear whether their findings would apply to all men.

“That said,” they added, “we do not see an important reason why the relationship among erectile function, sexual desire, and sexual bother should vary importantly between radical prostatectomy patients and other men.”

The results could be helpful for healthcare providers who provide sexual counseling to men after prostatectomy, they said.


The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Bravi, Carlo Andrea, MD, et al.

“Erectile Function and Sexual Satisfaction: The Importance of Asking About Sexual Desire”

(Full-text. Published online: November 14, 2019)