The impact of a diagnosis of couple subfertility on male sexual function


Aim: The aim was to study: a) the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in male partners of subfertile couples; b) the possible correlation between sexual dysfunction and seminal profile. Subjects and methods: Male partners (no.=171) of sub-fertile couples were studied, aged between 25 and 40 yr, attending the Andrology Unit of Sant’Andrea Hospital. All the subjects responded to a modified International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire, made up of 5 questions: 2 regarding erectile function, 1 concerning orgasmic function, 1 question on sexual desire, and 1 on satisfaction with intercourse. The questionnaire investigated both spontaneous sex for pleasure and sex intended to lead to pregnancy. The subjects underwent standard semen analysis, according to World Health Organization guidelines. Results: The data showed a disorder in sexual intercourse for reproductive purposes in 37 subjects (23.7%). Of these, only 14 (8.9%) also had problems with sex for pleasure. On the other hand, there was no significant variation in the prevalence of sexual dysfunction related to seminal profile. Conclusions: A diagnosis of subfertility represents a stressful situation which can reduce the pleasure of sex, especially in intercourse intended for reproductive purposes; this disorder in sexual activity does not seem to be directly correlated with awareness of the severity of the semen alterations.

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Correspondence to F. Mazzilli MD.

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Elia, J., Delfino, M., Imbrogno, N. et al. The impact of a diagnosis of couple subfertility on male sexual function. J Endocrinol Invest 33, 74–76 (2010).

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  • Couple subfertility
  • dyspermia
  • International Index of Erectile Dysfunction (IIEF)
  • seminal profile
  • sexual dysfunction