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Urol Clin North Am. 2001 May;28(2):269-78.

Psychogenic erectile dysfunction. Classification and management.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA.


Psychogenic factors are involved alone or in combination with organic causes in a substantial number of cases of erectile dysfunction. Epidemiologic studies have implicated the role of depressed mood, loss of self-esteem, and other psychosocial stresses in the cause of erectile dysfunction. A new definition and classification of psychogenic erectile dysfunction has been proposed based on recent clinical and research findings. According to this new classification, psychogenic erectile dysfunction is categorized as generalized or situational type, with subcategories of each type proposed. Traditional treatment approaches for psychogenic erectile dysfunction have included anxiety reduction and desensitization procedures, cognitive-behavioral interventions, guided sexual stimulation techniques, and couples' or relationship counseling. Recently, these approaches increasingly have been combined with pharmacologic therapy such as sildenafil. Special situations have been identified in which combining psychosocial interventions with medical therapy is recommended. These situations include problems of sexual initiation, low sexual desire, other sexual dysfunctions, and significant couples' or relationship problems. More research is needed on the role of psychosocial interventions in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

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