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Men: Is Your Thyroid Causing Sexual Problems?

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Updated June 03, 2014

Elevated view of young couple in bed
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It's common knowledge that endocrine disorders -- diabetes for example -- can have an effect on men's sexuality, and even reproduction. The connection with thyroid disease, however, has never been formally studied...until now.

In a study released in the December 2005 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers reported on the connection between specific sexual problems in men and thyroid conditions -- including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism -- in those men.

The study looked at 48 adult men, 34 with hyperthyroidism and 14 with hypothyroidism. The men were evaluated for a number of common problems, including a low sex drive (hypoactive sexual desire), erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and delayed ejaculation. They were examined twice, once while symptomatic, and a second time approximately 8 to 16 weeks after their thyroid levels had returned to normal range.

The Findings

Among HYPOTHYROID men...

  • Low sex drive, delayed ejaculation and erectile dysfunction was a complaint in 64.3% of men
  • Premature ejaculation was a complaint in 7.1% of men
Among HYPERTHYROID men...
  • Premature ejaculation was a complaint in 50% of men
  • Low sex drive was a complaint in 17.6% of men
  • Erectile dysfunction was a complaint in 14.7%
  • Delayed ejaculation was a complaint in 2.9% of men

The Good News?

According to the researchers, proper diagnosis, and treatment to return a man to "normal" thyroid function -- known as euthyroidism -- was found to reverse most sexual symptoms in men.

MORE INFORMATION


SOURCE: Carani, Cesare, et. al. "Multicenter Study on the Prevalence of Sexual Symptoms in Male Hypo- and Hyperthyroid Patients," The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 90, No. 12 6472-6479

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