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Pharmacopsychiatry. 2018 Nov;51(6):251-256. doi: 10.1055/s-0044-100627. Epub 2018 Jan 29.

Sexual Dysfunction in Unmedicated Patients with Schizophrenia and in Healthy Controls.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Mitte, Berlin, Germany.
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School Brandenburg Theodor Fontane, Neuruppin, Germany.
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany.
Contributed equally



Sexual dysfunction figures prominently in patients with schizophrenia; however, medication effects may play a role. The objective of this case control study was to assess differences in the presence of sexual dysfunction in unmedicated patients with schizophrenia versus healthy controls.


Sexual dysfunction was assessed using the Derogatis Inventory for Sexual Function self-rating in a cross-sectional design controlling for age and gender effects. A brief sexual anamnesis was applied to describe the psychosocial background of the mostly male sample further.


Results show a significant difference with patients reporting more problems in most domains and with a significant correlation between severity of psychosis (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale total scores) and the impairment of orgasm experience. The study revealed reduced sexual activities and less pleasure during sexual activities of patients.


This study implies that schizophrenia has an impact on the presence of sexual dysfunction and that sexual dysfunction is partly independent of antipsychotic treatment. Since the sample consisted mostly of first-episode males, conclusions might only be valid for this subgroup.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Conflict of interest statement

Theresa Dembler-Stamm has no conflicts of interest to declare. Jana Fiebig has no conflicts of interest to declare. Andreas Heinz shows no conflicts of interest. Juergen Gallinat has received research funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, German Science Foundation, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly & Co, Janssen-Cilag, Bristol-Myers Squibb and speaker fees from AstraZeneca, Janssen-Cilag, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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