Losing weight may help resolve erectile dysfunction in obese men, according to research presented at the 103rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). Morbid obesity can cause sexual dysfunction independent of other common confounders, including diabetes, hypertension and smoking. In this study from researchers in Boston and Philadelphia, sexual function was normalized in some men who underwent gastric bypass surgery for weight loss.
“This study shows that weight loss and other risk factors which are alleviated by weight loss may be keys to restoring sexual function,” said Anthony Y. Smith, M.D. “These results give men another reason to improve their health by losing weight.”
In this study, 95 patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery for weight loss completed the Brief Sexual Inventory (BSI) pre- and post-operatively. On average, BSI scores improved in all categories, including sexual drive, erectile function, ejaculatory function, problem assessment and sexual satisfaction. The amount of weight lost predicted the degree of improvement in all areas of the survey.
Results were then compared to data from the Olmstead County Study of Urinary Health Status Survey, a community-based prospective study often used as a baseline for study comparison. After an average of 67 percent weight loss post-bypass, BSI scores were comparable to patients in the Olmstead Study.
Gastric bypass surgery, a procedure that reduces the body’s caloric intake, can be used to induce significant weight loss in the obese. Calorie reduction is accomplished by making the stomach smaller and bypassing part of the stomach and small intestines so that fewer calories are absorbed. The patient feels full faster and learns to reduce the amount of food that he/she eats.
- Dallal Rm, Smith JA, O’Leary MP, Harkaway RC, Sawh SL: Profound sexual dysfunction is common in the morbidly obese male and is reversed after gastric bypass surgery. J Urol, suppl., 2008; 179:405, abstract 1178. [link]
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