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Int J Androl. 2005 Dec;28 Suppl 2:46-52.

The impotent couple: low desire.

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Andrology Unit, Department of Clinical Physiopathology, University of Florence, Florence Italy.


Hypoactive sexual desire (HSD) is the deficiency of sexual fantasies and desire that should be considered as a disorder if it causes distress to the couple. In the general population, it is the most widespread sexuality-related problem. It is generally accepted that testosterone and prolactin regulate sexual desire. We recently reported that other psychobiological factors associate with HSD in a sample of almost 500 male patients attending our Outpatient Clinic for sexual dysfunction, by using SIEDY structured interview. We now originally extend investigation to a threefold broader patient sample. Considering marital parameters, perceived partner's libido and climax, patient's partner diseases, conflictual or even prolonged couple relationship were all significantly associated with an impairment of patients' sexual desire. Moreover, other lifestyle factors as satisfaction at work and/or domestic inhabitant relationship were significantly correlated to hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). Among hormonal parameters, severe hyperprolactinaemia (>700 mU/L), although rarely diagnosed (<2.0%), seems to play a greater role than the more common (23%) endocrine disease hypogonadism (testosterone < 12 nm) to the pathogenesis of HSD (RR = 7.5 [2.5-22.4] vs. 1.5 [1.1-1.9], respectively). Both mental disorders and use of medication interfering with sexual function were also significantly associated with HSDD, as well as depressive and anxiety symptoms. Finally, HSD was inversely correlated to sexual and masturbation frequency attempts. In conclusion, HSD is associated with several biological, psychological, and relational factors that can be simultaneously identified and quantified using the SIEDY structured interview.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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