Couple in bed

How does assisted reproduction influence the man

How does assisted reproduction influence men’s sexual function?

Few studies have investigated the sexual function of men who visit special clinics for assisted reproduction. Recently (2012), a published study described the characteristics of 244 men who had visited a assisted reproduction clinic together with their partner.

According to the results, 17.8% of these men had erectile dysfunction and 15.6% had premature ejaculation. About 1 in 6 men have problems with erection or ejaculate fast. In addition, men with erectile problems had an increased chance to experience symptoms of depression, while men with rapid ejaculation had an increased likelihood of reporting symptoms of prostatitis and symptoms of intense anxiety.

How could the data of the above study be explained?

The above study was conducted on couples experiencing infertility problems and visited a special clinic to receive medical assisted reproduction services. While it appeared that a significant proportion of men experienced a sexual problem, this study does not give us information about whether the sexual problem was the cause or the consequence of infertility.

Sexual problems are often the result of infertility when couples have sex solely for conception. Because these sexual encounters are ususally determined by the day of ovulation rather than sexual desire, sexual dysfunction often arise in both men and women.

Moreover, because the sexual encounters aim only conception instead of pleasure, they are often characterised by inadequate sexual stimuli, resulting in arousal problems.

In addition, the experience of conception difficulties often creates symptoms of depression, which in turn significantly increase the likelihood of sexual problems.

However, in some cases, infertility is the cause of sexual problems that have unfortunately remained unsolved. Whether sexual problems are the cause or the consequence of infertility, it is very important for couples to seek treatment in order to be able to get pleasure from their sex life and especially not to lose their sexual intimacy.

Lotti F, Corona G, Rastrelli G et al. (2012) Clinical correlates of erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation in men with couple infertility. J Sex Med 9: 2698-2707.


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