The relationship of serum and salivary cortisol levels to male sexual dysfunction as measured by the International Index of Erectile Function

Int J Impot Res. 2009 Jul-Aug;21(4):207-12. doi: 10.1038/ijir.2009.14. Epub 2009 May 7.


To evaluate the biomarkers of sexual function, we investigated the relationship between questionnaire responses and biological hormones such as testosterone (T) and cortisol (F) in serum and saliva. The study population included 105 men aged 30-72 years (mean: 49+/-4.5, median: 49). Levels of all serum hormones (Total-T, Free-T, Bioavailable-T, Total-F and Bioavailable-F) and salivary hormones (Saliva-T and Saliva-F) were measured directly by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) was used as a questionnaire to evaluate sexual dysfunction. Free-T and Bioavailable-T showed significant inverse correlations with age (P<0.01). In the group not taking antidepressants, the levels of Bioavailable-F and Saliva-F showed significant inverse correlations with a portion of the IIEF score (P<0.05). However, reductions in Bioavailable-T and Saliva-T showed no association with the IIEF score. In the group taking antidepressants, these hormone levels showed no correlation with IIEF.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Depression / psychology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Penile Erection / physiology*
  • Penis / physiology
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Testosterone / metabolism


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Testosterone
  • Hydrocortisone