The association between subclinical hypothyroidism and erectile dysfunction | Chen | Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences

The association between subclinical hypothyroidism and erectile dysfunction

Dawei Chen, Yuerong Yan, Hui Huang, Qiang Dong, Haoming Tian


Objectives: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is highly prevalent among males, and hypothyroidism is previously reported to be related with ED. However there have been rare studies to investigate the association between subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) and ED, hence our objective was to fill this gap.

Methods: ED patients who visited the Urology Outpatients Clinic were recruited consecutively, and males from the Health Manage Center were included as the controls. Serum thyroid and sexual hormones were estimated, and the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) questionnaires were evaluated as well. Subjects with normal sexual hormones were included for statistical analysis.

Results: One hundred nine ED patients and 32 healthy controls were included in this study. The ratio of SCH and euthyroidism in ED males was 29.36% and 66.06% respectively. The IIEF-5 scores in ED patients with SCH were significantly lower than the controls with euthyroidism (P<0.05). The serum concentrations of TSH and prolactin were significantly higher and free thyroxine lower in ED patients with SCH when compared with the controls with euthyroidism (all p<0.05), and no significant differences of estradiol and total testosterone were found between those two groups. However the IIEF-5 scores were not significantly different between males with SCH and euthyroidism among ED patients (P>0.05).

Conclusions: SCH is common in ED patients and may be associated with ED, whereas the severity of ED is not related to SCH. Screening for thyroid dysfunction in men presenting with ED is recommended.


How to cite this:Chen D, Yan Y, Huang H, Dong Q, Tian H . The association between subclinical hypothyroidism and erectile dysfunction. Pak J Med Sci. 2018;34(3):621-625.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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