Association Between Infertility and Sexual Dysfunction in Men and Women

Michael H. Berger, Marisa Messore, Alexander W. Pastuszak, Ranjith Ramasamy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction The relation between infertility and sexual dysfunction can be reciprocal. Causes of sexual dysfunction that affect fertility include erectile dysfunction, Peyronie's disease (abnormal penile curvature), low libido, ejaculatory disorders in men, and genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder (GPPPD) and low sexual desire in women. Aim To review the association between infertility and sexual dysfunction and discuss current management strategies to address sexual disorders in couples with infertility. Methods Peer-reviewed publications from PubMed published from 1980 through February 2016 were identified that related to sexual dysfunction and infertility in men and women. Main Outcome Measures Pathophysiology and management approach of erectile dysfunction, Peyronie's disease, low libido, ejaculatory disorders in men, and GPPPD and low sexual desire in women and how each etiology contributes to sexual dysfunction and infertility in the couple. Results Treating the infertile couple with sexual dysfunction involves addressing underlying conditions such as psychogenic erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, Peyronie's disease in men, and GPPPD and low sexual desire in women. Psychogenic erectile dysfunction can be successfully treated with phosphodiesterase inhibitors. Low testosterone is often identified in men with infertility, but testosterone therapy is contraindicated in men attempting conception. Men with Peyronie's disease have a new treatment option to address their penile curvature—collagenase Clostridium histolyticum injection directly into the penile plaque. GPPPD is a broad disorder that includes vulvodynia and vaginismus and can be treated with topical lubricants and moisturizers. We must address psychosocial factors in women with low sexual desire. Flibanserin and transdermal testosterone (off-label) are novel therapies for women with low sexual desire. Conclusion Sexual dysfunction in a couple with infertility is a complex issue. Management of infertility and sexual dysfunction should involve appropriate medical therapy and addressing the psychosocial concerns of the couple.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-365
Number of pages13
JournalSexual Medicine Reviews
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Keywords

  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
  • Hypogonadism
  • Peyronie's Disease
  • Vaginismus
  • Vulvodynia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology

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