Sexual dysfunction in men and women with endocrine disorders.
Endocrine disease frequently interrupts sexual function, and sexual dysfunction may signal serious endocrine disease. Diabetic autonomic neuropathy and endothelial dysfunction impair erectile function, and phosphodiesterase inhibition produces only moderate benefit. The effect of diabetes on women's sexual function is complex: the most consistent finding is a correlation between sexual dysfunction and depression. Reductions in testosterone level in men are associated with low sexual desire and reduced nocturnal erections and ejaculate volume, all of which improve with testosterone supplementation. The age-dependent decline in testosterone production in men is not associated with precise sexual symptoms, and supplementation has not been shown to produce sexual benefit. In women, sexual dysfunction has not been associated with serum testosterone, but this may be confounded by limitations of assays at low concentrations and by the greater importance of intracellular production of testosterone in women than in men. Testosterone supplementation after menopause does improve some aspects of sexual function in women, but long-term outcome data are needed. More research on the sexual effects of abnormal adrenal and thyroid function, hyperprolactinaemia, and metabolic syndrome should also be prioritised. We have good data on local management of the genital consequences of oestrogen lack, but need to better understand the potential role of systemic oestrogen supplementation from menopause onwards in sexually symptomatic women.
Bhasin, S; Enzlin, P; Coviello, A; Basson, R
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