Sexual dysfunction in male schizophrenic patients

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Background: Neuroleptic treatment in schizophrenic patients is associated with sexual dysfunction. However, it is not clear to what extent the psychiatric disorder and/or the pharmacologic treatment are responsible for the sexual impairment. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the sexual function of untreated and treated male schizophrenic patients in comparison with healthy subjects. Method: Participants included 122 male subjects: 20 drug-free schizophrenic patients, 51 neuroleptic-treated (depot form) schizophrenic patients, and 51 normal controls. A detailed structured interview was used to quantitatively and qualitatively assess sexual function. Results: A high frequency of sexual dysfunction was reported by both schizophrenic groups of patients. Impairments in arousal items (erection) and orgasm during sex were reported mainly by the treated patients. Desire parameters were reduced in both schizophrenic groups, but reduction in the frequency of sexual thoughts was confined to the untreated one. The schizophrenic patients were more involved in masturbatory activity in comparison with the control subjects. Treated patients disclosed dissatisfaction with their sexual function. Conclusion: Untreated schizophrenic patients exhibit decreased sexual desire. Neuroleptic treatment is associated with restoration of sexual desire yet it entails erectile, orgasmic, and sexual satisfaction problems. Clinicians' awareness and open discussion of sexual problems with patients may improve comprehension and compliance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-141
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


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