Accession Number:



Heart Rate Variability in Male Sexual Arousal and Erectile Dysfunction

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The life-time prevalence of a male sexual dysfunction ranges from 31-52. Autonomic nervous system ANS differences between men with and without erectiledysfunction ED may have clinical relevance to the treatment of ED. Parasympathetic nervous system PNS activation is necessary to produce erections. ED may be associated with reduced PNS activation, consequently limiting erection capacity. The purpose of this study was to compare the ANS responding of sexually functional and dysfunctional men. Potentially, differences could explain the development and maintenance of ED. Heterosexual men, ages 18-60 with and without psychogenic ED were monitored for tumescence and heart rate variability HRV in response to visually erotic video clips. PNS activity hf-HRV increased in both groups during erotic stimuli. However, ED participants did not have attenuated PNS increases as compared to functional participants. Anxiety did not moderate the relationship between sexual arousal and changes in hf-HRV. Additionally, PNS activation did not predict changes in tumescence. In this study, PNS activation for men with and without ED was similar and was not associated with other factors known to impact tumescence.

Subject Categories:

Distribution Statement: