Acupuncture in the treatment of psychogenic erectile dysfunction: first results of a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study

Int J Impot Res. 2003 Oct;15(5):343-6. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3901021.


In a prospective study, we investigated the potentially curative effect of acupuncture in patients with psychogenic erectile dysfunction (pED). A total of 22 patients with pED were randomized into two groups. They were either treated with acupuncture specific against ED (treatment group) or acupuncture specific against headache (placebo group). Nonresponders of the placebo group were crossed over to the treatment group. Prior to acupuncture, serum sexual hormone levels, IIEF score, nocturnal penile tumescence testing for three nights (Rigiscan) and the erectile response to 50 mg sildenafil were evaluated. Out of 21 patients, 20 completed the study, including 10 patients after crossover. A satisfactory response was achieved in 68.4% of the treatment group and in 9% of the placebo group (P=0.0017). Another 21.05% of the patients had improved erections, that is, sufficient rigidity under simultaneous treatment with 50 gm sildenafil. The results of our pilot study indicate that acupuncture can be an effective treatment option in more than two-thirds of patients with psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Erectile Dysfunction / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Placebos